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VIRGIN MONEY LONDON MARATHON 2015

04 THE ELITE RACES


Elite Men
Entries
Bib no.
1
2
3
4
5
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17
18
19
20
21
22
23
24
25
26
27
28
29

Name
Wilson Kipsang
Dennis Kimetto
Emmanuel Mutai
Eliud Kipchoge
Geoffrey Mutai
Sammy Kitwara
Tsegaye Mekonnen
Stanley Biwott
Tilahun Regassa
Samuel Tsegay
Serhiy Lebid
Aleksey Reunkov
Ghebrezgiabhier Kibrom
Marcin Chabowski
Koen Raymaekers
Scott Overall
Michael Shelley
Javier Guerra
Bekir Karayel
Hermano Ferreira
Christian Kreienbhl
Anuradha Cooray
Mert Girmalegesse
Cesar Lizano
Stijn Fincioen
Matthew Hynes
Pedro Ribeiro
Guye Adola

Nation
KEN
KEN
KEN
KEN
KEN
KEN
ETH
KEN
ETH
ERI
UKR
RUS
ERI
POL
NED
GBR
AUS
ESP
TUR
POR
SUI
SRI
TUR
CRC
BEL
GBR
POR
ETH

PB
2:03:23
2:02:57
2:03:13
2:04:05
2:04:15
2:04:28
2:04:32
2:04:55
2:05:27
2:07:28
2:08:32
2:09:54
2:10:00
2:10:07
2:10:35
2:10:55
2:11:15
2:12:21
2:13:21
2:13:28
2:15:35
2:15:51
2:17:45
2:17:50
2:17:57
Debut
Debut
Debut

Bib name
KIPSANG
KIMETTO
E. MUTAI
KIPCHOGE
G. MUTAI
KITWARA
MEKONNEN
BIWOTT
REGASSA
TSEGAY
LEBID
REUNKOV
KIBROM
CHABOWSKI
RAYMAEKERS
OVERALL
SHELLEY
GUERRA
KARAYEL
FERREIRA
KREIENBUEHL
COORAY
GIRMALEGESSE
LIZANO
FINCIOEN
HYNES
RIBEIRO
ADOLA

Media Guide 2015 23

VIRGIN MONEY LONDON MARATHON 2015

Preview: A clash of the champions


Former world-record holder Wilson Kipsang will
defend his London Marathon title in a clash of the
champions against against fellow Kenyan Dennis
Kimetto, the man who made history last year when he
broke Kipsangs record to become the first athlete ever
to run 26.2 miles in less than two hours three minutes.
Kimetto, who clocked 2:02:57 in Septembers Berlin
Marathon, will make his London Marathon debut, while
Kipsang takes on the iconic course for the fourth time
having won in 2012 and 2014. The two are training
partners in the Kenyan town of Iten but have never
faced each other over the marathon distance.
Kipsang set the former world record of 2:03:23 at
the Berlin Marathon in 2013 and broke the London
course record last year when he won in 2:04:29. Now
he is aiming to become only the fourth man in the
events 35-year history to claim a hat-trick of London
titles. The 33-year-old has won eight marathons in his
career, including his last three races, and was crowned
the 2013/14 World Marathon Majors champion
after winning the 2014 New York City Marathon last
November.
The 30-year-old Kimetto, a relative late-comer to
world-class distance running, was a London Marathon
pacemaker in 2013 soon after clocking the fastest
ever debut marathon when he finished second
in Berlin in 2012. He has since won three World
Marathon Majors races, taking victory at the 2013
Tokyo and Chicago Marathons before last years
triumph in the German capital.
The Kenyan pair are just two of the big hitters in an
elite field that includes the three quickest marathon
runners of all time (on legitimate courses); five of the
worlds all-time top 10; and eight men in total who
have run sub-2:05.

24 Media Guide 2015

Kipsang and Kimetto are joined by five other strong


Kenyans, including 2011 London champion Emmanuel
Mutai, who ran the second fastest time ever when
finishing runner-up to Kimetto in Berlin last year;
Eliud Kipchoge, the former world 5000m champion
who won the 2014 Chicago Marathon last October;
and Geoffrey Mutai, the former Boston, New York
and Berlin Marathon champion, who won the World
Marathon Majors series in 2012.
Theres also Sammy Kitwara, who was second in
Chicago and third in Tokyo last year, and last years
runner-up, Stanley Biwott, another sub-2:05 man, who
returns to the London Marathon seeking to go one
better in 2015.
The Ethiopian challenge is led by the 19-year-old 2014
Dubai Marathon champion, Tsegaye Mekonnen, who
was fifth last year and holds the fastest ever marathon
time by a junior. Former Rotterdam Marathon
champion, Tilahun Regassa, is the second Ethiopian
in the field with a best of 2:05:27, while a pair of
Eritreans, Samuel Tsegay and Ghebre Kibrom, add to
the strength of the east African pack.
Ukraines cross country specialist Serhiy Lebid is the
leading European. The 39-year-old won nine European
cross country titles before moving up to the marathon.
Russias European bronze medallist Alexey Reunkov
is also in the line-up, as is Australias Glasgow
Commonwealth Games champion Michael Shelley.
Scott Overall and Matt Hynes are the two Britons on
the elite start line. Overall was fifth in the 2011 Berlin
Marathon, while Hynes finished 10th in the recent
Paris half marathon and is looking to improve a fiveyear-old marathon time in his first serious attempt at
the distance.

VIRGIN MONEY LONDON MARATHON 2015

WILSON KIPSANG (KENYA)


Born: 15 March 1982 Keiyo District
Marathon best: 2:03:23 Berlin 2013
London Marathon record: 2012- 1st 2:04:44,
2013- 5th 2:07:47, 2014- 1st 2:04:29
Other World Marathon Majors
Berlin: 2013- 1st 2:03:23
New York: 2014- 1st 2:10:59
Other major city marathons
Frankfurt: 2010- 1st 2:04:57, 2011- 1st 2:03:42
Honolulu: 2012- 1st 2:12:31
Otsu: 2011- 1st 2:06:13
Paris: 2010- 3rd 2:07:13
Marathons in major championships
Olympics: 2012- 3rd 2:09:37
Career notes
Wilson Kipsang broke the course record to win his
second London Marathon title last year, outbattling
Stanley Biwott in the final mile and a half of the race to
beat Emmanuel Mutais mark by 26 seconds.
Hed arrived in the British capital as the world record
holder having broken Patrick Makaus two-year-old
mark at the Berlin Marathon in September 2013.
He may have lost that accolade to Dennis Kimetto
last September, but he bounced back by adding a
first New York Marathon victory to his list of honours
in November and won half a million dollars as the
2013/14 Series VIII World Marathon Majors mens
champion. The cold and windy conditions meant
his winning time was the slowest in New York since
1995 and the second slowest of Kipsangs 11 career
marathons.
His aim in London this year is to become only the
fourth man to win the London Marathon three times,
and the first to retain the title since Martin Lel in 2008.
The 33-year-old has won eight out of 11 marathons
in his career so far, including his last three races, and
remains third on the world all-time list thanks to his
former world record of 2:03:23.
Principally a road runner, Kipsangs main performance
of note before his marathon debut in 2010 was fourth
at the 2009 World Half Marathon Championships. He
was also second at the 2009 Ras Al-Khaymah half
marathon in 58:59, still his PB.
His first marathon came in Paris in 2010 when he was
third in 2:07:13, half a minute behind winner Tadesse
Tola. He won the Frankfurt Marathon that October
in a course record of 2:04:57, beating Tola by more
than a minute. He set another course record when he
won the 2011 Lake Biwa Marathon in Otsu in 2:06:13
ahead of Deriba Merga.
He returned to Frankfurt in 2011 and made a bold
attack on the world record. He put in a magnificent
effort over the last 5km but missed the target by four
seconds, settling instead for another course record
with 2:03:42, more than a minute quicker than 2010.
Kipsangs London Marathon victory in 2012 was
similarly impressive. Competing for a place on Kenyas

Olympic team, he stamped his authority on a highquality field with two bold surges and crossed the
line in 2:04:44, missing Mutais course record by four
seconds.
He returned to London that August to spearhead
Kenyas 2012 Olympic bid. Despite establishing
an early lead he could not maintain the pace and
eventually finished third.
After his two appearances in London in 2012, he went
on to win the Great North Run in a quick time of 59:06
and concluded 2012 with another victory, winning the
Honolulu Marathon in 2:12:31.
He warmed up for the 2013 London Marathon with
victory at the New York half in 61:02, but he could
place no higher than fifth in London, his lowest finish
in 11 marathon starts. He skipped the Moscow
2013 World Championships, saving himself for his
world record assault in Berlin which he executed
to perfection, breaking free after 30km to take 15
seconds from Makaus time.
Kipsangs second London victory 12 months ago
confirmed his status as the worlds number one, a rank
since challenged by his training partner, Kimetto.
He won the Granollers half marathon on 1 February this
year in 62:39, repeating his victory from 2013.
Personal notes
Kipsang was working as a travelling salesman of
farm produce when inspired to take up running
by Paul Tergats 2003 marathon world record. He
began running for the Kenyan police force and was
discovered when he finished second in the Tegla
Loroupe Peace Race over 10km.
He is married to Doreen Jepkechei Chebii and they
have four children. He owns a 37-room hotel on the
road between Eldoret and Iten.
His full name is Wilson Kiprotich Kipsang.

Media Guide 2015 25

VIRGIN MONEY LONDON MARATHON 2015

DENNIS KIMETTO (KENYA)


Born: 22 January 1984
Marathon best: 2:02:57 Berlin 2014
London Marathon record: None (2013- pace)
Other World Marathon Majors
Berlin: 2012- 2nd 2:04:16, 2014- 1st 2:02:57
Boston: 2014- dnf
Chicago: 2013- 1st 2:03:45
Tokyo: 2013- 1st 2:06:50
Other major city marathons: None
Marathons in major championships: None
Career notes
Dennis Kimetto became the first man in history to
break two hours three minutes when he ran a 2:02:57
world record at the 2014 Berlin Marathon. He did it in
only his fifth marathon by running the fastest second
half in history (excluding the downhill Boston course)
at 61 minutes 12 seconds.
Kimetto took 26 seconds from his training partner
Wilson Kipsangs mark, set in the same race the
previous year, and also beat the unofficial world best
of 2:03:02 by Geoffrey Mutai, another training partner,
set in Boston in 2011.
Kimetto covered the first half in 61:45 and increased
his pace in the second, finally shaking off his last
challenger, Emmanuel Mutai, with less than 5km to
go. Mutai was also inside the previous record with
2:03:13.
A latecomer to world class distance running, Kimetto
ran his first international race in Nairobi in 2011, aged
27, when he won the half marathon in 61:30.
A recent recruit to Kipsang and Mutais training group,
he progressed rapidly, winning the 2012 Berlin half
marathon that April in 59:14 before, a month later,
breaking the world record for 25km at the BIG 25 race
in the German capital. He clocked 1:11:18.
He ran his first full marathon in Berlin too, in
September 2012, and finished second to Mutai in
2:04:16, the fastest debut ever.
He stepped up again in 2013 when he won two World
Marathon Majors events, starting with the Tokyo
Marathon in January, where he broke the course
record in 2:06:50, followed by the Chicago Marathon
that October, where he ran 2:03:45, just 22 seconds
outside Kipsangs then world record.
It was both a course record and a North America
all-comers record. In the process, Kimetto became
the first man ever to cover each 5km segment of a
marathon in under 14:50.
The one blip in Kimettos meteoric rise came a year
ago at the Boston Marathon when he dropped out
after going through 30km in 1:32:31.

26 Media Guide 2015

By then, however, Kimetto already believed he had the


potential to break the 2:03 barrier and he lived up to
those predictions on 28 September last year when his
historic run prompted a flood of speculation about the
prospects of a sub-2 hour marathon, an achievement
he believes is just a matter of time.
Kimetto has never run in a major championships race,
but he has said he would like to run for Kenya at this
years World Championships in Beijing and at the Rio
2016 Olympic Games.
Personal notes
His full name is Dennis Kipruto Kimetto. He started
training in 2008 and did not develop into a world class
runner until his late 20s, spending the preceding years
as a farmer earning money for his family by selling
crops in Kenyas Rift Valley.
I would listen to the radio at home, and hear
commentary on athletics, he explained. Thats what
inspired me. It was the poverty that made me run; I
thought athletics was the way to escape the poverty.
Kimetto started training alone on the trails around Iten,
and was soon spotted by Kipsang and Mutai, who
invited him to join their group. It was really painful
at first because I couldnt stay with them, Kimetto
remembered. But in time I became as good as them.
He is married to Caroline Chepkemei and they have a
son Alphas Kibet, born 2012. He bought a new house
for his family in Eldoret with his prize money from
running.
He was presented with the World Record Award by the
Association of International Marathons and Distance
Races (AIMS) in Ras Al Kaymah this February.

VIRGIN MONEY LONDON MARATHON 2015

EMMANUEL MUTAI (KENYA)


Born: 12 October 1984 Tulwet, Rift Valley
Marathon best: 2:03:13 Berlin 2014
London Marathon record: 2008- 4th 2:06:15,
2009- 4th 2:06:53, 2010- 2nd 2:06:23,
2011- 1st 2:04:40, 2012- 7th 2:08:01,
2013- 2nd 2:06:33, 2014- 7th 2:08:19
Other World Marathon Majors
Berlin: 2014- 2nd 2:03:13
Chicago: 2008- 5th 2:15:36, 2013- 2nd 2:03:52
New York: 2010- 2nd 2:09:18, 2011- 2nd 2:06:28
Other major city marathons
Amsterdam: 2007- 1st 2:06:29
Rotterdam: 2007- 7th 2:13:06
Marathons in major championships
Olympics: 2012- 17th 2:14:49
Worlds: 2009- 2nd 2:07:48
Career notes
Mutai broke a sequence of second places when he
ran away from the field over the last 10km of the
2011 London Marathon to break Sammy Wanjirus
course record. He covered the 5km from 30-35km
in 14:16 and won by the biggest margin since 1986.
His winning time of 2:04:40 made him then the 10th
fastest marathon runner in history.
He improved that position in Chicago in October 2013
when he was second to Dennis Kimetto in 2:03:52,
then the fastest non-winning time ever, making him
one of just five people to break 2:04 on a legitimate
course.
And he went quicker still in Berlin last September
when he again followed Kimetto home. As his
countryman made history by breaking the 2:03 barrier,
Mutai lowered his own best to 2:03:13 to rank world
No.2, a remarkable achievement in his 16th marathon.
Mutais marathon career began modestly in Rotterdam in April 2007, but he produced a sparkling
performance later that year in Amsterdam, winning
in an eye-catching 2:06:29.
He made his London debut the following year, finishing
fourth in 2:06:15 followed by fifth place in Chicago that
October. In London 2009, he was out of the medals
for the second year in a row, but came close to his PB
with 2:06:53, fast enough to win a place on Kenyas
World Championship team. At the Worlds in Berlin he
ran side-by-side with Abel Kirui for much of the race.
Kirui pulled away in the final stages but Mutai bagged
a silver medal.
He arrived in London the following spring seeking to
make the podium for the first time. He achieved his
goal by finishing second behind Tsegaye Kebede,
clocking his fourth sub-2:07 time. In November that
year he made his New York debut, and had to be
satisfied with second again, this time trailing Gebre
Gebremariam to the line.

After his big breakthrough in London in 2011, he


returned to New York that year to battle with Geoffrey
Mutai, eventually yielding victory to his namesake,
although he was ahead of Kebede so won the 2010/11
WMM Series V.
In January 2012 he was one of six athletes named
on Kenyas provisional list for Olympic selection and
was later picked despite finishing seventh in London
that April. At the Olympics, he lost touch with his two
compatriots, Wilson Kipsang and Kirui, and struggled
home in 17th place.
After a disappointing 2012, he returned to London in
2013 and seemed to have his second victory sewn
up at 40km when he had a 28-second lead. But a hip
injury slowed him down and Kebede emerged in the
final mile to steal his glory. He hung on for second in
2:06:33.
He clocked his first sub-2:04 in Chicago that year and
returned to London last year with high hopes, only to
finish seventh again in his slowest time so far.
He ran 63:13 to finish eighth in this years Barcelona
half marathon on 15 February.
Personal notes
His full name is Emmanuel Mutai Kipchirchir and he is
based in Kaptagat, 40km east of Eldoret.
He is no relation to Geoffrey Mutai but he is related to
Richard Limo, the 2001 world 5000m champion, and is
coached by former steeplechaser, Patrick Sang.
He is married to Janet Jepkogei and they have two
sons, Tony and Allan.

Media Guide 2015 27

VIRGIN MONEY LONDON MARATHON 2015

ELIUD KIPCHOGE (KENYA)


Born: 5 November 1984 Kapsisiywa, Nandi District
Marathon best: 2:04:05 Berlin 2013
London Marathon record: None
Other World Marathon Majors
Berlin: 2013- 2nd 2:04:05
Chicago: 2014- 1st 2:04:11
Other major city marathons
Rotterdam: 2014- 1st 2:05:00
Hamburg: 2013- 1st 2:05:30
Marathons in major championships: None
Career notes
Former world 5000m champion Eliud Kipchoge ran
the quickest non-winning time ever at the 2013 Berlin
Marathon when he clocked 2:04:05 to finish second
behind Wilson Kipsangs world record-breaking run.
Both marks were surpassed at last years Berlin
Marathon, and that time remains Kipchoges personal
best, but the 30-year-old former track runner proved
himself a new star of the roads in 2014 with an
unbeaten record.
After winning the Barcelona half marathon last
February, he triumphed at the Rotterdam Marathon
in April in 2:05:00, then produced a magnificent late
surge to win last Octobers Chicago Marathon in
2:04:11, beating a high-quality field that included
Emmanuel Mutai and Kenenisa Bekele.
Kipchoge first made the move up to the marathon
as recently as April 2013 when he won the Hamburg
Marathon in 2:05:30, beating the field by more than
two minutes and setting a new course record.
Before then, Kipchoge was best known for his exploits
on the track, not least his incredible upset victory at
the 2003 World Championships in Paris when, at the
age of 19, he won the 5000m gold medal defeating
two giants of the distance, Kenenisa Bekele and
Hicham El Guerrouj. Earlier that summer hed broken
the world junior record at the Bislett Games in Oslo,
running 12:52.61.
Kipchoge had won the junior race the World Cross
Country Championships earlier that year, but his Paris
victory was to prove his last at a major championships
as in the following years he often came close but
never again reached the top of the podium.
At World Championships he won a 5000m silver in
2007, but otherwise finished fourth in 2005, fifth in
2009 and seventh in 2011, while he won an Olympic
bronze in 2004 and silver in 2008, beaten by Bekele
both times, and a Commonwealth Games silver in
2010 behind Ugandas Moses Kipsiro.
Aside from occasional 5km and 10km races,
Kipchoge made his first move on to the roads in
2012 when he was sixth at the Kavarna World Half
Marathon Championships.

28 Media Guide 2015

He won the Barcelona half marathon in 2013 before


making his marathon debut in Hamburg, but his half
marathon PB stems from 2012 when he ran 59:25 in
Lille.
He finished sixth in this years Ras Al Khaymah
International half marathon in 60:50.
Personal notes
Eliud Kipchoge was born in Kapsisiywa in the Nandi
District in Kenya where his parents were farmers. He
still lives mainly in Kapsisiywa.
He trains at the Global Sports camp in Kaptagat but
is based in Nijmegen, Netherlands, during the track
season.
Kipchoge has a daughter Lynne Jebet, born in 2006.

VIRGIN MONEY LONDON MARATHON 2015

GEOFFREY MUTAI (KENYA)


Born: 7 October 1981 Koibatek District, Rift Valley
Marathon best: 2:04:15 Berlin 2012
London Marathon record: 2013- dnf,
2014- 6th 2:08:18
Other World Marathon Majors
Berlin: 2010- 2nd 2:05:10, 2012- 1st 2:04:15
Boston: 2011- 1st 2:03:02, 2012- dnf
New York: 2011- 1st 2:05:06, 2013- 1st 2:08:24,
2014- 6th 2:13:44
Other major city marathons
Daegu: 2009- 8th 2:10:45
Eindhoven: 2008- 1st 2:07:50, 2009- 1st 2:07:01
Monaco: 2008- 1st 2:12:40
Rotterdam: 2010- 2nd 2:04:55
Seoul: 2009- dnf
Marathons in major championships: None
Career notes
The 2011/12 World Marathon Majors champion
produced one of the most astonishing performances
in marathon history when he won the 2011 Boston
Marathon in 2:03:02, then the quickest time ever
recorded for the distance.
It didnt count as a world record because of the pointto-point and downhill profile of the Boston course, and
Mutai was aided by a strong tailwind, although it was
still a breath-taking run as he averaged four minutes
41.5 seconds per mile.
Mutai went on to set the course record in New
York City that autumn when he beat his namesake
Emmanuel Mutai in 2:05:06, slashing two minutes 37
from a record that had stood for 10 years. Together,
his times in Boston and New York that year set a
record for the fastest two-race total in a single year
4:08:08.
Mutai returned to defend his Boston title in April 2012
but suffered badly in the extreme heat and dropped
out, ruining his chance of a place in Kenyas Olympic
team. He came back to win the 2012 Berlin Marathon
in 2:04:15, his quickest legitimate time, and clinched
the World Marathon Majors Series VI crown.
He made his London Marathon debut in 2013, but it
wasnt a successful one as he dropped at 30km with a
hamstring problem. He retained his New York title that
November (the 2012 race was cancelled) after cutting
loose in the second half and building a large lead.
He ran the same two races in 2014, finishing sixth in
both London and New York, some way short of his
best at both events.

He has run five marathons of 2:05:10 or better, and


was one of the most consistent racers on the circuit for
two years until the end of 2013.
He was due to race the Tokyo Marathon this February
and then run as a pacemaker in London, but when
injury forced him to withdraw from Tokyo he decided to
race in London instead.
Mutai set a new half marathon best of 58:58 when
he was third at the Ras Al-Khaymah on 15 February
2013. He beat Mo Farah to win the New York half
marathon in March last year in 60:50.
He was the African Championships bronze medallist
over 10,000m in 2010, Kenyan champion at cross
country in 2011 and at 10,000m in 2013. He was fifth
at the 2011 World Cross Country Championships.
Personal notes
He is the eldest of nine children and is married to
Beatrice Chepkirui. They have two daughters, Michele
and Merica.
His full name is Geoffrey Kiprono Mutai. He is not
related to Emmanuel Mutai.
He is based in Kapngetuny in Uasin Gishu County (the
Rift Valley). His training group includes Wilson Kipsang
and Dennis Kimetto.

Mutai first ran the marathon at Eldoret, Kenya, in


December 2007. He finished second in 2:12:50. After
winning two autumn marathons in Eindhoven in 2008
and 2009, he stepped up for his first WMM race in
Berlin 2010 and came within two seconds of pulling
off an upset victory over Patrick Makau.

Media Guide 2015 29

VIRGIN MONEY LONDON MARATHON 2015

SAMMY KITWARA (KENYA)


Born: 26 November 1986 Sagat, Marakwet District
Marathon best: 2:04:28 Chicago 2014
London Marathon record: None
Other World Marathon Majors
Chicago: 2012- 4th 2:05:54, 2013- 3rd 2:05:16,
2014- 2nd 2:04:28
Tokyo: 2014- 3rd 2:06:30
Other major city marathons
Rotterdam: 2012- dnf, 2013- 3rd 2:07:22
Marathons in major championships: None
Career notes
Sammy Kitwara chased Eliud Kipchoge home to
finish runner-up in the Chicago Marathon last year in
2:04:28, a time that would have won every race in the
events history until 2013.
It was Kitwaras third appearance in the Windy City
since 2012 and in three years he has moved up from
fourth to third to second, improving his time on each
occasion.
He arrives for his London Marathon debut in 2015 after
clinching two World Marathon Majors podium places in
2014 he was also third in Tokyo last February and
currently sits equal seventh on the WMM leaderboard.
Kitwara began his marathon career as a pacemaker at
the 2011 Rotterdam Marathon, and made his debut
at the same race in 2012. He was in the lead pack at
half way (61:38), but dropped out after 30km. He was
in better form when he returned to Rotterdam in 2013,
placing third in 2:07:22.
His marathon record to date reads six starts, four
podium places but, as yet, no victory.
Before his marathon career took off, Kitwara was best
known as a half marathon runner. He is one of only 13
men to have broken 59 minutes which he has done
twice.
He placed 10th at the World Half Marathon
Championships in 2009, in Birmingham, having won
the Den Haag and Rotterdam halves in Holland earlier
that year, the former by beating Haile Gebrselassie, the
latter in a course record of 58:58.
He had also set a course record of 27:25.6 at the
Worlds Best 10K in February that year. He won that
race again in 2011, one of only three men to win the
Puerto Rico race more than once. His 10km road best
is 27:11, set when second in Utrecht in 2010.
He won a bronze medal at the 2010 World Half
Marathon Championships in Nanning and in 2011
moved to fifth on the half marathon all-time list when
he clocked 58:48 in Philadelphia, although he lost by
two seconds to Mathew Kisorio.
He also lost narrowly to Zersenay Tadese in that years
Lisbon half marathon when the Eritrean set a world
record of 58:23.

30 Media Guide 2015

He ran the fastest ever time for 12km when he


clocked 33:31 in the 2009 Bay to Breakers race in San
Francisco, an event he has won three times.
On the track, Kitwara won the 10,000m title at the
2009 Kenyan World Championship Trials, but was
subsequently removed from the team for Berlin by
Athletics Kenya for participating in road races after the
Trials.
He won the Worlds Best 10km race in San Juan for
the fourth time on 1 March this year in 28:51.
Personal notes
Sammy Kirop Kitwara was born in Sagat village, in the
Marakwet District of the Rift Valley.
He went to Embomir Primary School and Kerio Valley
Secondary school, from which he graduated in 2004.
He took up running in 2007 because I was not making
any progress in life and my family needed assistance.
A policeman by occupation, he is coached by Moses
Kiptanui and has run for the Kenyan police team.

VIRGIN MONEY LONDON MARATHON 2015

TSEGAYE MEKONNEN

(ETHIOPIA)

Born: 15 June 1995 North Shewa Zone


Marathon best: 2:04:32 Dubai 2014
London Marathon record: 2014- 5th 2:08:06
Other World Marathon Majors: None
Other major city marathons
Dubai: 2014- 1st 2:04:32
Marathons in major championships: None
Career notes
Tsegaye Mekonnen made a sensational marathon
debut in January last year when he won the 2014
Dubai Marathon in 2:04:32 at the age of 18, beating
the unofficial world junior record by one minute 19
seconds.
It was the third fastest debut in history by a man
known previously only for finishing fifth in the World
Junior 5000m final in 2012. His winning time made
Mekonnen the 11th fastest marathon runner of all
time, with the 14th quickest time hes now 12th on
the all-time list with the 19th best time.
He made his London Marathon debut 12 months ago,
finishing fifth, the third of a trio of Ethiopians following
the Kenyan one-two, but ahead of the two Mutais,
Geoffrey and Emmanuel.
Mekonnen had run as a pacemaker in Dubai in 2013
and was 14th in the Ras Al Khaymah half marathon in
February that year in 62:53. He was also 15th in the
Bangalore 10km in 29:33 last May, and has a 10km
road best of 28:36 from 2012.
He also ran a half marathon best of 62:41 in Porto in
September 2013.
These were hardly performances to herald his amazing
breakthrough on Dubais superfast course last January
when he broke away in the 36th kilometre and reeled
off km splits of 2:51, 2:52 and 2:54 to leave Markos
Geneti in second place.
He ran a personal best of 61:05 to finish seventh at
this years Ras Al Kaymah half marathon, just behind
Eliud Kipchoge.
Personal notes
His full name is Tsegaye Mekonnen Asefa. He is the
fourth of nine children (six boys, three girls).
He started training while still at school four years ago
after being encouraged to run by his grandfather,
Assefa Wake. He turned to the marathon after only
finishing fifth in the 5000m at the 2012 World Juniors.
He owns and rides a horse called Hodolcha which he
keeps at his home town in the North Shewa Zone.
Mekonnen trains in Addis Ababa.
His ambition is to break Haile Gebrselassies Ethiopian
record of 2:03:59.

Media Guide 2015 31

VIRGIN MONEY LONDON MARATHON 2015

STANLEY BIWOTT (KENYA)


Born: 21 April 1986
Marathon best: 2:04:55 London 2014
London Marathon record: 2011- pace,
2013- 8th 2:08:39, 2014- 2nd 2:04:55
Other World Marathon Majors
New York: 2013- 5th 2:10:41
Other major city marathons
Carpi: 2006- 7th 2:14:25
Chunchon: 2011- 1st 2:07:03
Paris: 2012- 1st 2:05:12
Reims: 2010- 2nd 2:09:41
So Paulo: 2010- 1st 2:11:19
Shanghai: 2012- 3rd 2:09:05
Marathons in major championships: None
Career notes
Stanley Biwott was the surprise package of last years
race when he finished second in a personal best,
breaking the 2:05 barrier.
Despite starting as only the eighth quickest man in
the field, the 2012 Paris champion ran stride-for-stride
with world record holder Wilson Kipsang until the final
stages of the race and followed his countryman across
the line in 2:04:55 to ensure 2014 was the first year
in 34 London Marathons that two men have broken
2:05.
Biwott had taken nearly two minutes from his PB
to win the 2012 Paris Marathon, crossing the line in
2:05:12, a course record. It was a significant move
into world class for the Kenyan whose marathon
career began six years earlier in Carpi, where he was
seventh.

His good form continued in 2013 when he was second


at the Ras Al Khaymah half in a PB of 58:56, equal
11th on the world all-time list at the end of 2014.
He ran well on his London Marathon debut in April
2013 when he was leading the race with less than five
miles to go until Emmanuel Mutai swept past him. He
struggled on the run-in and eventually finished eighth
in 2:08:39.
He was among the leaders in the New York Marathon
that November too, eventually finishing fifth in 2:10:41.

He didnt run a marathon again until 2010 when he


won the So Paulo Marathon in 2:11:19, the fastest
ever in South America.

He withdrew from the 2014 Ras Al-Khaymah half


marathon because of leg pain, but dipped under the
hour again at the New Delhi half last November when
he clocked 59:18 in fifth.

He dipped under 2:10 for the first time at the 2010


Reims to Toutes Jambes, where he was three
seconds behind winner Stephen Chebogut in 2:09:41.

He ran the fastest half marathon in the world so far this


year when he won the City Pier City race in Den Haag
in 59:20 on 8 March.

At the Chunchon Marathon in 2011 he outran his


training partner Jonathan Kosgei Kipkorir and took
another two and a half minutes from his PB with a
time of 2:07:03, a course record.

Personal notes
His full name is Stanley Kipleting Biwott. He is married
to Nancy Cherop Biwott and they have a son, Alan
Kipchumba.

Biwott began 2012 with another course record, this


time at the Paris half marathon which he won in
59:44. That was on 1 March, and just six weeks later
he returned to the French capital to repeat the feat
at the full distance. He took the lead at half way and
continued to pull away from the field over the second
half.

His brother Norris Biwott ran 2:11:29 in 2013.

He headed to USA later in the year and won both


the Beach to Beacon 10km, in a PB of 28:00, and
the Falmouth 7 miles road race. He was also a
comfortable winner at the Philadelphia half marathon,
finishing 40 seconds ahead of the field, and at the
Rock n Roll half in San Antonio in November.

32 Media Guide 2015

He worked on his familys dairy farm before becoming


a runner. He began working with Italian coach Claudio
Berardelli in 2006.

VIRGIN MONEY LONDON MARATHON 2015

TILAHUN REGASSA (ETHIOPIA)


Born: 18 January 1990 Nazret
Marathon best: 2:05:27 Chicago 2012
London Marathon record: None
Other World Marathon Majors
Boston: 2014- dnf
Chicago: 2012- 3rd 2:05:27
Other major city marathons
Eindhoven: 2014- 1st 2:06:21
Rotterdam: 2013- 1st 2:05:38
Xiamen: 2015- 2nd 2:06:54
Marathons in major championships: None
Career notes
Tilahun Regassa made a spectacular marathon debut
when he finished third at the 2012 Chicago Marathon
in 2:05:27, then the third fastest debut on a standard
course. He kept Sammy Kitwara out of the medals
completing an Ethiopian clean sweep led by two-time
London Marathon winner Tsegaye Kebede.
Regassa was familiar with most of the Chicago course
as he had been a pacemaker the previous year, when
he passed 30km in 1:29:25 (at 2:06 marathon pace).
He followed his debut with two prestigious European
wins, first at the 2013 Rotterdam Marathon, when he
triumphed by more than a minute and finished just
11 seconds outside his PB, and then last October in
Eindhoven, having failed to finish the 2014 Boston
Marathon in April.

Regassa was once described by his manager as one


of the most talented athletes in the world, but also as
a wild man, in every meaning of the word.

On 3 January this year he was second in the Xiamen


Marathon behind Moses Mosop. His four completed
marathons have all been inside 2:07 and he has won a
place on the podium each time.
Regassa is also a sub-one hour half-marathon runner
with his best of 59:19 stemming from his victory in
the 2010 Zayed International in Abu Dhabi, worth
US$300,000. He ran for Ethiopia at the 2009 World
Half Marathon Championships in Birmingham,
finishing 11th in 62:08 and winning a team bronze.
He set four PBs in 2012 including 27:18.90 for
10,000m when he was sixth in Hengelo and 43:01 for
15km, his winning time in the Boilermaker road race in
New York State.
Personal notes
His full name is Tilahun Regassa Dabe.
Regassas parents divorced when he was three and
he was raised by his father until the age of 15, when
his father died. He worked for a stone company and
lived on the streets for three years, relying on food
handouts.
At 16, he entered the Great Ethiopian Run and came
fourth. A year later he was ninth. Local coaches told
Hussein Makke, an elite manager, of his potential, and
Makke took him into his stable of runners to train fulltime. He began competing in Europe in 2008.

Media Guide 2015 33

VIRGIN MONEY LONDON MARATHON 2015

SAMUEL TSEGAY (ERITREA)


Born: 24 October 1988 Kudofelasi
Marathon best: 2:07:28 Amsterdam 2011
London Marathon record: 2012- 9th 2:08:06,
2014- 18th 2:19:10
Other World Marathon Majors: None
Other major city marathons
Amsterdam: 2011- 8th 2:07:28
Marathons in major championships
Olympics: 2012- dnf
Worlds: 2013- 16th 2:14:41
Career notes
Tsegay was ninth on his London Marathon debut two
years ago, clocking 2:08:06, but he dropped out of
the London Olympic race a few months later and was
16th at the 2013 World Championships.
He returned to the London Marathon last year full of
confidence after picking up a silver medal at the 2014
World Half Marathon Championships in Copenhagen
last March. Tsegay ran a personal best of 59:21 and
helped Eritrea to take the team gold for the first time.
But he again struggled to find his best form in the
British capital, and slipped back over the second half
of the race to finish 18th in 2:19:10.
Tsegay claimed the Eritrean record from Yonas Kifle
when he made his marathon debut in Amsterdam
in October 2011, only to see it vanish a week later
when Yared Asmerom took a second from his time of
2:07:28.
Tsegay finished eighth in the Dutch city, an
encouraging step up for the then 23-year-old who had
twice finished fifth at previous World Half Marathon
Championships and was an experienced cross
country international at junior and senior levels.
He broke his national junior 10,000m record when he
was fourth at the 2006 World Junior Championships
and lowered it again when eighth at the 2007 AllAfrican Games. He also finished eighth in the junior
races at the 2006 and 2007 World Cross Country
Championships.
At senior level he was 16th at the World Cross in
2009 when the Eritrean team took bronze. He also
represented Eritrea over 5000m at the 2009 World
Championships in Berlin where he was eliminated in
the heats.
A fifth place at the 2010 World Cross gained him a
team silver but he was disqualified in 2011 after he
and Abera Kuma began fighting in the final stretch.
Tsegay accused the Ethiopian of deliberately elbowing
him and standing on his heels. He reacted by grabbing
Kumas leg and threw a punch before dashing to the
finish. The IAAF disqualified both athletes.
On the roads, Tsegay made an encouraging step up to
the half marathon when he was fifth at the 2009 World
Championships in Birmingham and he was fifth again
in Nanning the following year.

34 Media Guide 2015

He ran a personal best for 10 miles (44:38) in Zaandam


in September 2011 before making his marathon debut
in the same country a month later.
In 2013 he ran PBs for 10km and 15km and was sixth
in the Lisbon half marathon while last year he won the
Eritrean half marathon championships in 59:42 before
his medal-winning performance in Copenhagen.
Personal notes
His full name is Samuel Tsegay Tesfamriam.
He is coached by Jeronimo Bravo who also coaches
world half marathon record holder Zersenay Tadese.

VIRGIN MONEY LONDON MARATHON 2015

SERHIY LEBID (UKRAINE)


Born: 15 July 1975 Dnipropetrovsk
Marathon best: 2:08:32 Seoul 2014
London Marathon record: None
Other World Marathon Majors: None
Other major city marathons
Lisbon: 2013- 2nd 2:11:24
Nagano: 2014- 1st 2:13:56
Seoul: 2014- 4th 2:08:32
Warsaw: 2013- dnf
Marathons in major championships: None
Career notes
The nine-times European cross country champion and
former world cross country silver medallist has moved
up to the marathon in the last couple of years.
He dropped out on his debut in Warsaw in April 2013,
but he was second in Lisbon later that year in 2:11:24
before winning the Nagano marathon last April.
He made a major improvement to his time in
November when he was fourth in at the Seoul
Marathon in 2:08:32, taking almost three minutes from
his PB to rank second in Europe behind Mo Farah.
Now 39, Lebids international career stretches back
to 1997 when he was European under 23 silver
medallist at 10,000m. He went on to win three World
University Games 5000m titles in 1999, 2001 and
2003 and represented Ukraine at that distance at
World Championships and Olympic Games from 1999
to 2012. His best finish at global level came in 2000
when he was seventh in the Sydney Games 5000m
final.
At European level, he won a 5000m bronze medal
at the 2002 championships in Munich. He was also
fourth at 5000m in 2010 and fifth at 10,000m in 2006.
His major successes have come at cross country as
he was the dominant European figure for a dozen
years and is arguably the continents greatest ever
cross country runner.
He won nine European golds between 1998 and
2010 plus one silver and three bronze medals in that
12-year period. Uniquely, he appeared in all of the
first 19 editions of the championships from 1994 to
2012. He also won a silver medal at the 2001 World
Cross Country Championships having finished eighth
in 2000.
In all, he has won 13 national titles in Ukraine and
broken national records at 3000m (indoors and out),
two miles indoors, and 5000m outdoors (13:10.78 in
2002), while he also set national records at 5km and
10km on the roads.
His half marathon best of 61:49 was set in 2003 when
he was third at the Great North Run.
Personal notes
He was coached by Renato Canova earlier in his
career, and was often based in Italy.

Media Guide 2015 35

VIRGIN MONEY LONDON MARATHON 2015

ALEKSEY REUNKOV (RUSSIA)


Born: 28 January 1984
Marathon best: 2:09:54 Frankfurt 2011
London Marathon record: None
Other World Marathon Majors: None
Other major city marathons
Daegu: 2011- 10th 2:12:16
Frankfurt: 2011- 14th 2:09:54
Otsu: 2013- 13th 2:11:41
Seville: 2010- 9th 2:15:48
Vienna: 2014- 7th 2:11:08
Marathons in major championships
Olympics: 2012- 14th 2:13:49
Europeans: 2014- 3rd 2:12:15
Career notes
Aleksey Reunkov won the marathon bronze medal
at last summers European Championships in Zrich,
some 11 years after he won European silver and
bronze medals at a junior level on the track and at
cross country.
After running a sensible race on the punishing course,
Reunkov produced a strong finish to claim his medal
in Zrich just ahead of Spains Javier Guerra, after the
long-time leader Marcin Chabowski had cracked in
the heat. Reunkov missed the silver medal by just 15
seconds.
He began his marathon career four years earlier in
Seville where he finished ninth in 2:15:48. He took
three minutes from that time in Daegu the following
year when he was 10th and sliced another two-and-aquarter off his best in Frankfurt that October, clocking
2:09:54 in 14th place, a time which remains his best.
He ran the marathon for Russia at the London 2012
Olympics and finished 14th, the fifth European to
cross the finish line in The Mall.
He has since raced in Otsu in 2013, and last April
finished seventh in Vienna before representing Russia
again at the 2014 Europeans.
Reunkovs first international success came in 2003
when he won a silver medal over 10,000m at the
European Junior Championships followed by a bronze
that December in the junior race at the European
Cross Country Championships .
More medals have eluded him since, though hes
twice run for Russia at senior level at European Cross
Country Championships and competed on the track
over 10,000m at two European Cups. He was also
fourth in the 10,000m at the 2009 World University
Games.
His half marathon PB of 63:00 was set in Warsaw in
2008. He ran 63:41 to finish 12th in Ostia on 1 March
this year.
Personal notes
His twin brother, Sergey Reunkov, is also an
international runner.

36 Media Guide 2015

VIRGIN MONEY LONDON MARATHON 2015

GHEBRE KIBROM (ERITREA)


Born: 1 February 1987
Marathon best: 2:10:00 Hengshui 2014
London Marathon record: None
Other World Marathon Majors: None
Other major city marathons
Cologne: 2013- 8th 2:11:56
Hengshui: 2014- 5th 2:10:00
Milan: 2014- 3rd 2:11:12
Marathons in major championships: None
Career notes
Ghebre Kibrom has produced three top 10 finishes in
his three marathons so far, most successfully when
third in Milan last April behind Kenyans Francis Kiprop
and Stephen Tum.
His time of 2:11:12 improved his personal best from
his debut in Cologne the previous October and he
lowered it still further in his third outing. That was in
Hengshui, China, last September when he clocked
2:10:00 to finish fifth in a race won by Ethiopian
Markos Geneti.
Personal notes
His full name is Ghebrezgiabhier Weldemicael Kibrom,
sometimes written as Kibrom Ghebrezgiabhier.

Media Guide 2015 37

VIRGIN MONEY LONDON MARATHON 2015

MARCIN CHABOWSKI
(POLAND)
Born: 28 May 1986
Marathon best: 2:10:07 Dsseldorf 2012
London Marathon record: None
Other World Marathon Majors: None
Other major city marathons
Dsseldorf: 2012- 4th 2:10:07
Eindhoven: 2014- 8th 2:15:04
Ldz: 2014- 5th 2:11:23
Warsaw: 2011- 6th 2:14:32
Marathons in major championships
Europeans: 2014- dnf
Career notes
Marcin Chabowski made a bold bid for glory on the
final day of the European Championships in Zrich last
summer when he struck out alone at the start of the
mens marathon, throwing caution to the wind despite
the rising heat and brutal hilly course.
A former European junior steeplechase champion who
turned to the marathon in 2011, Chabowski led the
field by more than a minute at 25km before eventually
paying the price for his suicidal pace. He was caught
shortly after passing 30km and later dropped out
clutching his side less than 10km from the finish,
leaving Italys Daniele Meucci to take the gold.
It was a disappointing end for Chabowski who finished
sixth on his debut in Warsaw in 2:14:32, a time he
improved by nearly four and a half minutes when he
was fourth in Dsseldorf the following year.
He didnt attempt another marathon until 2014 when
he was fifth in Lodz last April, winning his place on
Polands team for Zrich.
After his crash landing in Switzerland, Chabowski
returned to action swiftly, running the Eindhoven
Marathon in October where he finished eighth, but in
his slowest time so far.
Chabowski had his first taste of international
competition in 2003 when he was fifth in the 2000m
steeplechase at the World Youth Championships.
The following year he was a 3000m steeplechase
finalist at the World Juniors. In 2005 he won the
European junior title in Kaunas and broke Polands
national junior record for the distance with 8:30.40. His
all-time PB is 8:25.90 from 2008.
In 2007, he was fifth at the European Under 23
Championships, but in more recent years he has
moved up in distance, becoming Polands senior
10,000m champion in 2009 with a PB of 28:27.59,
and running 10,000m for his country at European
Cups in 2010 and 2011.
He has been Polish cross country champion four
times, 10,000m champion twice, 10km champion
twice, and half marathon champion.

38 Media Guide 2015

His half marathon best of 62:26 stems from 2011 while


he ran 63:24 to finish 15th at this years New York half
marathon on 16 March.
Personal notes
He is coached by former Russian record holder Leonid
Shvetsov.

VIRGIN MONEY LONDON MARATHON 2015

KOEN RAYMAEKERS
(NETHERLANDS)
Born: 31 January 1980 Cothen
Marathon best: 2:10:35 Rotterdam 2012
London Marathon record: None
Other World Marathon Majors: None
Other major city marathons
Amsterdam: 2006- 16th 2:15:50, 2007- 14th 2:13:02,
2009- 13th 2:12:59, 2011- dnf, 2013- dnf
Eindhoven: 2012- 21st 2:19:17
Rotterdam: 2007- 14th 2:19:44, 2008- 14th 2:15:07,
2009- 15th 2:18:59, 2010- 9th 2:11:09,
2011- 8th 2:13:41, 2012- 6th 2:10:35,
2013- 8th 2:12:09, 2014- 11th 2:15:19
Utrecht: 2006- 5th 2:23:38
Marathons in major championships
Europeans: 2010- 17th 2:23:24, 2014- 31st 2:20:49
Career notes
Koen Raymaekers is a veteran of 17 career
marathons, and has run all but two of them in his
home country, the Netherlands. His record includes
four Amsterdam Marathons since 2006 and every
single Rotterdam Marathon since 2007.
But he wont be running Rotterdam this April for the
35-year-old makes his World Marathon Majors debut
in London in the hope of dipping under 2:10 for the
first time.
A former Dutch junior record holder at 5000m and
10,000m, Raymaekers made his marathon debut in
Utrecht in 2006 when he was fifth, which remains his
highest ever finish.
He has completed at least one marathon every year
since and produced his best performance in 2012
when he was sixth in Rotterdam in 2:10:35, a race
which produced PBs for seven of the first 10 men,
including the top two, Ethiopians Yemane Adhane and
Getu Feleke, who both broke 2:05.
Raymaekers has been a Dutch international since
1997 when he finished 17th in the junior race at the
European Cross Country Championships.
In 1998 he ran 5000m at the World Junior
Championships, and the following year he was fourth
at 10,000m at the European juniors. In 2001 he won a
silver medal at the European Under 23 Championships
but he had to wait until hed moved up to the
marathon before winning his first senior Dutch vest.
That was in 2010 when he was 17th at the Barcelona
European Championships. He was selected for the
2014 championships too, and finished 31st in Zrich.
He has been a prolific half marathon runner in Holland,
his PB of 62:09 coming at the 2011 Den Haag race.
He was 15th in Den Haag this year in 64:17 and 17th
at the Venloop half in 64:21.

Media Guide 2015 39

VIRGIN MONEY LONDON MARATHON 2015

SCOTT OVERALL
(GREAT BRITAIN & NI)
Born: 9 February 1983 Hammersmith, London
Marathon best: 2:10:55 Berlin 2011
London Marathon record: 2012- pace, 2013- dnf,
2014- 19th 2:19:55
Other World Marathon Majors
Berlin: 2011- 5th 2:10:55, 2013- dnf,
2014- 14th 2:13:00
Other major city marathons
Fukuoka: 2012- 13th 2:14:15
Marathons in major championships
Olympics: 2012- 61st 2:22:37
Career notes
Scott Overall became the first British man to qualify for
the London 2012 Olympic athletics team when he ran
2:10:55 to finish fifth on his marathon debut in Berlin in
2011. It was the fastest time by a Briton since Tomas
Abyu was second in the Dublin Marathon in 2007.
Overall warmed up for the Olympics by winning the
Silverstone Half Marathon in March 2012, finishing
eighth at the New York City half marathon in a PB of
61:25, and pacemaking British runners at the 2012
London Marathon.
He then finished third at the Bupa London 10,000 at
the end of May, two places behind Mo Farah.
He was 61st in the Olympic race in 2:22:37 and ended
the year placing 13th at the Fukuoka Marathon in
2:14:15 to rank third in the UK for 2012.
He was seventh in the 2013 New Orleans half
marathon in 64:51, and won the Silverstone half again
in March 2013 in 65:43, looking in good shape for his
London Marathon debut that April. But it turned out to
be a race to forget as he dropped out around 25km
troubled by a knee injury.
He returned to the Berlin Marathon that September
but again struck bad luck when he tore his calf half
way into the race.
The 2014 London Marathon was also a frustrating
experience. Overall set off with high hopes of a quick
time after what he described as near enough perfect
training with Chris Thompson in Colorado Springs. But
he finished 19th, suffering a slow death over the last
seven to eight miles, and ended with a time only just
inside 2:20.
Things improved slightly when he placed 14th in Berlin
last September in 2:13:00, his second quickest time
and good enough to rank third in Britain for the year
behind Mo Farah and Thompson.
Overall was the national 5000m champion on the
track in 2009 and has represented Britain at European
indoor and cross country championships. He was
sixth in the 2005 European under 23 5000m and has
a best at the distance of 13:28.33 from 2008. He is
also a four-minute miler with an indoor best of 3:58.61.

40 Media Guide 2015

He broke his 10,000m track PB last September


when he ran 29:18.39, and he won the Reading half
marathon last March in 64:44.
He was 12th in the Worlds Best 10km race in San
Juan on 1 March this year in 30:19.
Personal notes
Born in Hammersmith, London, Overall began running
during physical education lessons at school.
A member of Blackheath & Bromley Athletic Club, he
attended Leicester University then Butler University in
Indianapolis, USA, where he studied economics, before
joining Team Indiana Elite in Bloomington where he
hooked up with the coach, Robert Chapman.
He is now based in Sutton, Surrey, and is coached by
Alan Storey.
He used to train with Mo Farah and was an usher at
Farahs wedding.
Overall worked for the Sweatshop specialist running
retail outlet, and occasionally at the London Marathon
head office, before deciding to train full-time for the
marathon.
His girlfriend is retired British international 800m runner
Vicky Griffiths.

VIRGIN MONEY LONDON MARATHON 2015

MICHAEL SHELLEY (AUSTRALIA)


Born: 10 October 1983 Southport, Queensland
Marathon best: 2:11:15 Commonwealths 2014
London Marathon record: 2011- 10th 2:11:38
Other World Marathon Majors
Chicago: 2013- 12th 2:13:09
Other major city marathons
Amsterdam: 2011- 11th 2:11:23
Oita: 2013- 6th 2:13:12
Rotterdam: 2010- 12th 2:13:05
Marathons in major championships
Olympics: 2012- 16th 2:14:10
Commonwealths: 2010- 2nd 2:15:28,
2014- 1st 2:11:15
Career notes
Michael Shelley became the first non-African winner of
the Commonwealth Games mens marathon title for
two decades when he triumphed in Glasgows pouring
rain last July.
The 30-year-old from Southport in Queensland
pulled clear of Kenyas Stephen Chemlany two miles
from the finish to win by 43 seconds in 2:11:15
before being embraced by Steve Moneghetti, the
Australian marathon legend and 2014 chef de mission
who was the last man from outside Africa to strike
Commonwealth gold in 1994.
The victory was the climax of a remarkable five-year
turn-around for Shelley who almost quit the sport in
2009 after he suffered a stress fracture to his pelvis
and lost funding from the Australian Institute of Sport.
It would have been a sad end for the promising
distance runner who made his international debut
as a steeplechaser at the 2002 World Junior
Championships, represented Australia at four World
Cross Country Championships and finished 16th at
the 2008 World Half Marathon Championships.
With the encouragement of his coach, Dick Trelford,
Shelley persevered, and his step up to the marathon
in 2010 was an inspired move, bringing swift and
unexpected success. After running 2:13:05 on his
debut in Rotterdam that April, Shelley was selected for
the 2010 Commonwealth Games where his pre-race
aim was merely to complete the 42km in Delhis harsh
conditions.
Yet the relatively slow pace worked to his advantage.
After lying eighth at halfway, he finished strongly,
overhauling Kenyan Amos Tirop Matui in the last 3km
to take the silver medal 53 seconds behind John Kelai
in 2:15:28.

He improved that by 15 seconds in Amsterdam that


autumn, and then finished 16th at the London 2012
Olympics, one place ahead of Emmanuel Mutai.
He qualified for Glasgow by running 2:13:09 to place
12th at the 2013 Chicago Marathon, won by Dennis
Kimetto in 2:03:45. In Glasgow he timed his effort to
perfection, producing his best time when it mattered
most.
Ive got to pinch myself, it is very exciting, he said
afterwards. I was just hoping to come back and
defend the silver medal, so to come back and win is
indescribable.
Shelleys half marathon PB of 61:27 was set when
finishing 10th in the 2012 New York half marathon. He
has a 10km PB of 28:44, also from 2012.
On the track his 10,000m best is 27:59.77 and hes run
13:38.30 for 5000m, both in 2009.
Personal notes
Coached by Dick Trelford, Shelley trains in hot and
humid conditions on the Gold Coast.
He was introduced to running at primary school sports
carnivals, then attended the Helensvale State High
School, which also produced Olympic sprint hurdles
gold medallist Sally Pearson and tennis player Sam
Stosur, a US Open winner. The school named its sports
house after Shelley in November last year.

Being able to finish would have been an amazing


result its my first Commonwealth Games and my
first multi-sport Games, he said afterwards. It was a
learning experience and well see what happens.
What happened next was Shelley received an
invitation to run the London Marathon in 2011 and
finished a creditable 10th in 2:11:38.

Media Guide 2015 41

VIRGIN MONEY LONDON MARATHON 2015

JAVIER GUERRA (SPAIN)

Born: 10 November 1983


Marathon best: 2:12:21 La Corua 2013
London Marathon record: None
Other World Marathon Majors: None
Other major city marathons
La Corua: 2013- 1st 2:12:21
Marathons in major championships
Worlds: 2013- 15th 2:14:33
Europeans: 2014- 4th 2:12:32
Career notes
Javier Guerra missed a medal at the European
Championships in Zrich last summer by just 17
seconds. He was fourth in 2:12:32, 11 seconds
outside his best on a tough course.
He set his personal best on his marathon debut
in La Corua to win a place at the 2013 World
Championships. He performed well in difficult
conditions in Moscow to place 15th in 2:14:33, the
first European finisher.
He ran for Spain again at the World Half Marathon
Championships in Copenhagen last March, setting a
PB of 62:27 in 38th. Guerra first pulled on a Spanish
vest as a junior in 2001 when he finished ninth at the
European Cross Country Championships. He also ran
5000m at the 2002 World Junior Championships. As
a senior he has represented Spain at seven European
Cross Country Championships, finishing fifth in 2011,
and at the 2010 World Cross.
On the track, he twice made the 5000m final at the
World University Games, finishing seventh in 2009 and
has PBs at 5000m of 13:46.12 (2007) and 10,000m of
28:53.03 (2009).
He was second in the Granollers half marathon in
February this year, just six seconds behind Wilson
Kipsang in 62:44, 15 seconds outside his PB. He was
also sixth in the Spanish cross country championships.

42 Media Guide 2015

BEKIR KARAYEL (TURKEY)

Born: 10 May 1982


Marathon best: 2:13:21 London 2012
London Marathon record: 2012- 16th 2:13:21
Other World Marathon Majors: None
Other major city marathons
Dsseldorf: 2011- 7th 2:19:40
Hamburg: 2008- 27th 2:21:03
Istanbul: 2006- 13th 2:17:03, 2008- 9th 2:20:38,
2009- 11th 2:23:17, 2010- 5th 2:16:41,
2011- 6th 2:15:48, 2013- 5th 2:20:27,
2014- 14th 2:22:36
Marathons in major championships
Olympics: 2012- 76th 2:29:38
Worlds: 2011- 47th 2:33:20
Career notes
Bekir Karayel smashed more than two minutes from
his PB when he ran the London Marathon three
years ago. Hed run for Turkey at the 2011 World
Championships and represented his country again at
the London 2012 Olympics.
Most of his marathon running has been done on
home soil in Istanbul where he has raced seven times,
finishing fifth twice and in the top 10 four times.
He also finished seventh in the Dsseldorf Marathon
in 2011 but he has been below his best in the last two
years.
He has represented Turkey at three European Cross
Country Championships and the 2010 European
Mountain Running Championships, while he ran
a PB of 62:48 in last years World Half Marathon
Championships in Copenhagen. He broke the Turkish
half marathon record with 62:55 in 2012.

VIRGIN MONEY LONDON MARATHON 2015

HERMANO FERREIRA
(PORTUGAL)

Born: 16 November 1982


Marathon best: 2:13:28 Vienna 2010
London Marathon record: None
Other World Marathon Majors: None
Other major city marathons
Rome: 2013- 13th 2:14:53
Turin: 2011- 7th 2:13:28
Vienna: 2010- 10th 2:13:28
Marathons in major championships
Worlds: 2013- dnf
Europeans: 2010- dnf, 2014- dnf
Career notes
Hermano Ferreira has had two top 10 finishes in his
six marathons, running exactly the same time on both
occasions 2:13:28 to place 10th in Vienna in 2010
and seventh in Turin in 2011.
He has run three championship marathons for
Portugal, but failed to finish in any of them.
His first international appearance was back in 2001,
when he was 20th at the European Junior Cross
Country Championships. He has also represented
his country at World and European Cross Country
Championships, while he was fourth in the 3000m at
the 2006 Ibero-American Championships.
His ran his half marathon PB of 61:24 when winning
the European Clubs event in 2010.

CHRISTIAN KREIENBHL
(SWITZERLAND)

Born: 6 June 1981


Marathon best: 2:15:35 Berlin 2012
London Marathon record: None
Other World Marathon Majors
Berlin: 2012- 18th 2:15:35
Other major city marathons
Zrich: 2011- 11th 2:21:48, 2012- 11th 2:19:38,
2013- 7th 2:17:47
Marathons in major championships
Worlds: 2013- 34th 2:21:17
Europeans: 2014- 23rd 2:18:36
Career notes
Christian Kreienbhl was a member of Switzerlands
six-strong bronze medal-winning marathon team at
the European Championships in Zrich last summer,
along with the hosts favourite, defending champion
Viktor Rthlin, making his farewell appearance, and
former Eritrean Tadesse Abraham, the big new hope.
While Rthlin was fifth and Abraham ninth, Kreienbhl
finished 23rd in 2:18:36 to ensure the host nation won
a place on the team podium. It was the 33-year-olds
second appearance for his country as he also ran at
the Moscow 2013 World Championships where he
finished 34th.
Kreienbhl made his marathon debut in Zrich in 2011
and has run three of his six marathons in the Swiss
city. His best finish was seventh in 2013. He ran his
quickest marathon in Berlin in 2012 when he was
18th.
He ran his half marathon best in Berlin that year too,
clocking 65:55, while he has a 10km PB of 29:50 and
has run 53:27 for 10 miles on the roads.
He was Swiss marathon champion in 2012, and the
10,000m and half marathon champion in 2013.

Media Guide 2015 43

VIRGIN MONEY LONDON MARATHON 2015

ANURADHA COORAY
(SRI LANKA)

MERT GIRMALEGESSE
(TURKEY)

Born: 24 March 1978


Marathon best: 2:15:51 Asian Games 2014
London Marathon record: 2005- 27th 2:20:16,
2009- 21st 2:21:02, 2011- 27th 2:21:11,
2012- 23rd 2:17:50, 2013- 16th 2:17:53
Other World Marathon Majors: None
Other major city marathons
Islamabad: 2004- 1st 2:16:38
Mahiyanganaya: 2003- 1st 2:16:39
Pune: 2011- 10th 2:18:42
Singapore: 2004- 7th 2:18:28
Marathons in major championships
Olympics: 2004- 30th 2:19:26, 2012- 55th 2:20:41
Worlds: 2005- dnf
Asian Games: 2014- 6th 2:15:51

Born: 30 November 1987


Marathon best: 2:17:45 Tempe 2008
London Marathon record: None
Other World Marathon Majors: None
Other major city marathons
Istanbul: 2014- 12th 2:21:43
Tempe: 2008- 6th 2:17:45
Marathons in major championships: None

Career notes
Anuradha Indrajith Cooray broke his personal best
to finish sixth at the Asian Games in Incheon last
October.
He won his first two marathons and has since run five
times in London, his best performance coming in 2012
when he clocked 2:17:50, while he was just three
seconds slower two years ago in 16th place.
He has represented Sri Lanka in the marathon at two
Olympics and one World Championships, while he
also ran in the 2005 and 2014 World Half Marathon
Championships. Last year in Copenhagen he broke
his own national record with 65:20.

Career notes
Mert Girmalegesse finished sixth in the Tempe
Marathon in Arizona in January 2008 shortly before
switching allegiance from Ethiopia to Turkey.
He became eliglible to run for Turkey in February
2008 and broke the Turkish 10,000m record clocking
27:29.33 to finish 11th in the Beijing 2008 Olympic
final. Earlier in the year he set a Turkish 5000m record
of 13:26.14.
He became European under 23 cross country bronze
medallist later that year, and the under 23 10,000m
champion the following year. He also finished ninth
in the 5000m and picked up a bronze at the 2009
Mediterranean Games.
In 2010 he was ninth in the 5000m at the European
Championships and represented Europe in the
Continental Cup. He was a World Youth bronze
medallist at 3000m back in 2003.
He ran for Turkey at last years World Half Marathon
Championships and finished 12th in the Istanbul
Marathon.
Mert Girmalegesse was his Ethiopian name, but since
switching to Turkey he has been known as Selim
Bayrak.

44 Media Guide 2015

VIRGIN MONEY LONDON MARATHON 2015

CESAR LIZANO (COSTA RICA)

Born: 7 March 1982


Marathon best: 2:17:50 Chicago 2011
London Marathon record: None
Other World Marathon Majors:
Chicago: 2011- 11th 2:17:50
Other major city marathons
Houston: 2013- 11th 2:22:01
Sacramento: 2014- 19th 2:18:20
Toronto: 2010- 19th 2:23:45
Marathons in major championships
Olympics: 2012- 65th 2:24:16
Career notes
Cesar Lizano set his personal best in his only previous
appearance in a World Marathon Majors race, finishing
11th in Chicago in 2011.
He ran his first marathon in Toronto the previous
year and represented Costa Rica at the London
2012 Olympics, where he finished 65th. He was only
30 seconds outside his PB when finishing 19th in
Decembers California Marathon in Sacramento.

STIJN FINCIOEN (BELGIUM)

Born: 29 December 1980


Marathon best: 2:17:57 Eindhoven 2011
London Marathon record: None
Other World Marathon Majors: None
Other major city marathons
Eindhoven: 2009- 25th 2:24:15, 2010- 13th 2:22:36,
2011- 17th 2:17:57, 2012- 22nd 2:21:13,
2014- 12th 2:19:30
Rotterdam: 2014- 18th 2:19:10
Tourhout: 2013- 1st 2:22:50
Marathons in major championships: None
Career notes
Stijn Fincioen has raced in the Eindhoven Marathon
almost every year since 2009, posting his PB there
in 2011. He won the Tourhout Marathon on home
soil in Belgium in 2013 and finished in the top 20 at
Rotterdam last year.

He represented Costa Rica at the 2009 and 2014


World Half Marathon Championships, finishing 84th
both times, running his PB is 66:07 on the second
occasion.

Media Guide 2015 45

VIRGIN MONEY LONDON MARATHON 2015

MATTHEW HYNES
(GREAT BRITAIN & NI)

PEDRO RIBEIRO (PORTUGAL)

Born: 15 January 1988


Marathon best: Debut
London Marathon record: (2010- 272nd 2:43:40)
Other World Marathon Majors: None
Other major city marathons: None
Marathons in major championships: None
Career notes
Matthew Hynes regards this as his marathon debut,
although he has run one before. He competed in the
2010 London Marathon from the championship start,
jogging home in 2:43:40.
He finished 10th in this years Paris half marathon on 8
March in 63:54, a time which would have ranked him
fifth in the UK last year.
He ran a 10km road best in 2013 of 29:23 when
winning the Leeds Abbey Dash. He was fourth in the
same event last year running just six seconds slower.
He was second at last years Great North 10k and third
at the Great Yorkshire Run in Sheffield.
He also ran a 10 miles road best of 48:48 last year
and clocked a 10,000m track PB of 29:20.07 to finish
fourth at the England Athletics championships, just
missing a place on the Commonwealth Games team,
but earning a British Athletics vest at the European
Cup 10,000m championships where he was second.

Born: 25 March 1981


Marathon best: Debut
London Marathon record: None
Other World Marathon Majors: None
Other major city marathons: None
Marathons in major championships: None
Career notes
Pedro Ribeiro is a former Portuguese steeplechase
champion making his marathon debut after
representing his country on the track at European
Championships and World University Games (2003
and 2009), and at European and World Cross Country
Championships.
Ribeiro twice finished eighth in the 3000m
steeplechase at the World University Games while he
was sixth at the 2004 Ibero-American Championships.
He was selected to run for Portugal at the 2010
European Championships in Barcelona but could only
finish ninth in his heat.
He has run for his country at four European and one
World Cross Country Championships.
His half marathon best of 65:20 was set in 2007 when
he was third in Ovar.
He won the Portuguese steeplechase title five times
between 2004 and 2010, and was second in 2012.
His best time is 8:32.20 from 2006.
He ran a 10,000m PB last year of 29:36.98.

46 Media Guide 2015

VIRGIN MONEY LONDON MARATHON 2015

GUYE ADOLA (ETHIOPIA)

Born: 20 October 1990


Marathon best: Debut
London Marathon record: None
Other World Marathon Majors: None
Other major city marathons: None
Marathons in major championships: None
Career notes
Guye Adola won a bronze medal at last years World
Half Marathon Championships in Copenhagen when
he dipped below the hour mark for the first time. He
ran 59:21, the same as Samuel Tsegay who snatched
silver, and just 13 seconds behind the winner Geoffrey
Kamworor.
Hed already lowered his PB once that year, winning
the Marrakech half in 61:26, and he broke it a third
time in November when he won the New Delhi half
marathon in 59:06.
He ran 60:45 to finish fourth in this years Lisbon half
marathon on 22 March.
He was also fourth at the Ethiopian Championships
and third in Luanda, two of his five races at the
distance in 2014.
He also set a 10km PB last year of 28:22.

Media Guide 2015 47

VIRGIN MONEY LONDON MARATHON 2015

Elite Women
Entries
Bib no.
101
102
103
104
105
106
107
108
109
110
111
112
113
114
115
116
117
118
119
120
121
122
123

Name
Edna Kiplagat
Mary Keitany
Aselefech Mergia
Florence Kiplagat
Priscah Jeptoo
Tirfi Tsegaye
Feyse Tadese
Jemima Sumgong
Tigist Tufa
Tetyana Gamera
Tatyana Arkhipova
Ana Dulce Flix
Sara Moreira
Alessandra Aguilar
Rkia El Moukim
Iwona Lewandowska
Mary Davies
Elvan Abeylegesse
Diane Nukuri
Sonia Samuels
Emma Stepto
Volha Mazuronak
Rebecca Robinson

48 Media Guide 2015

Nation
KEN
KEN
ETH
KEN
KEN
ETH
ETH
KEN
ETH
UKR
RUS
POR
POR
ESP
MAR
POL
NZL
TUR
BDI
GBR
GBR
BLR
GBR

PB
2:19:50
2:18:37
2:19:31
2:19:44
2:20:14
2:20:18
2:20:27
2:20:48
2:21:52
2:22:09
2:23:29
2:25:40
2:26:00
2:27:00
2:28:12
2:28:32
2:28:57
2:29:30
2:29:35
2:30:56
2:32:40
2:33:33
2:37:14

Bib name
E. KIPLAGAT
KEITANY
MERGIA
F. KIPLAGAT
JEPTOO
TSEGAYE
TADESE
SUMGONG
TUFA
GAMERA
ARKHIPOVA
FELIX
MOREIRA
AGUILAR
EL MOUKIM
LEWANDOWSKA
DAVIES
ABEYLEGESSE
NUKURI
SAMUELS
STEPTO
MAZURONAK
ROBINSON

VIRGIN MONEY LONDON MARATHON 2015

Preview: Kenyas fantastic four to fight for title


Edna Kiplagat will face two former champions and the fastest half marathon runner in history when she defends
her womens title in what promises to be a clash of the Kenyans. The double world champion sprinted to victory
on The Mall last year, beating half marathon world record holder Florence Kiplagat by just three seconds in the
closest womens race for 17 years.
The two Kiplagats will meet again this year when they face the 2013 champion, Priscah Jeptoo, and Mary
Keitany, who topped the London Marathon podium in 2011 and 2012. The womens elite field contains nine
runners who have completed the 26.2-mile distance in less than two hours 22 minutes, and no fewer than 11
who have run quicker than 2:25. But it will be these four who are expected to battle it out over the closing stages
just as they did in 2012 when Keitany smashed the Kenyan record.
Keitanys return to the London Marathon will be keenly anticipated by marathon fans after she won her second
title in compelling style three years ago in 2:18:37, a time only world record holder Paula Radcliffe has ever
beaten on the London course. Keitany made a spectacular return to marathon racing last year when she won the
New York City Marathon in November after taking a year out in 2013 to have her second child. Undefeated over
the London course, she is the quickest in this years line-up by more than a minute and is aiming to become only
the fourth woman to win the London Marathon three times.
Both Edna and Florence Kiplagat have also dipped under 2:20 in the past, while Jeptoo set her personal best
of 2:20:14 when she was third in London three years ago. After failing to finish last year, the 2012 Olympic silver
medallist will be keen to make amends this time.
But Kenyas fantastic four wont have the race to themselves for Aselefech Mergia is in form to do some real
damage. The Ethiopian won the Dubai Marathon for a third time this January running just half a minute outside
her best. The former national record holder is eighth quickest of all time and has done well on the London course
in the past. She crossed the line third on her London debut in 2010, and the two Russians who finished ahead of
her that year have both since failed drugs tests. The 30-year-old could well win the title for real this time.
The Kenyan contingent is further strengthened by New York Marathon runner-up Jemima Sumgong, while Mergia
will have three strong compatriots alongside her in last years Tokyo and Berlin champion, Tirfi Tsegaye, Feyse
Tadese, who was fourth here in 2014 and second in Berlin, and Tigist Tufa, who won marathons in Ottawa and
Shanghai in 2014.
The east Africans wont have it all their own way, however, for the 2015 field has a strong European presence
thanks to two women who have gone under 2:25 Ukrainian record holder Tetyana Gamera, the three-time
Osaka champion who was seventh last year, and Russias 2012 Olympic bronze medallist, Tatyana Arkhipova.
Theres also a pair of Portuguese contenders in Ana Dulce Flix, who was eighth last year, and Sara Moreira, who
was third on her marathon debut in New York last November. Spains Alessandra Aguilar could also target a top
10 spot she was fifth at recent World and European Championships while Elvan Abeylegesse, Turkeys former
world 5000m record holder and double European track champion, will be looking to improve her best in her first
World Marathon Majors race.
The British athletes on the elite start line are Sonia Samuels, a top 20 finisher at the Moscow 2013 World
Championships, Emma Stepto, who was 14th in London last year at the age of 44, and Rebecca Robinson, who
ran for Britain at the 2010 European Championships.
Of course, much of the domestic attention will focus on Paula Radcliffe as the world record holder bids farewell
to the event she won three times. Radcliffe will start with the club athletes and compete as one of the British
championship runners.

Media Guide 2015 49

VIRGIN MONEY LONDON MARATHON 2015

EDNA KIPLAGAT (KENYA)


Born: 15 November 1979 Eldoret
Marathon best: 2:19:50 London 2012
London Marathon record: 2011- 3rd 2:20:46,
2012- 2nd 2:19:50, 2013- 2nd 2:21:32,
2014- 1st 2:20:21
Other World Marathon Majors
New York: 2010- 1st 2:28:20, 2013- 9th 2:30:04,
2014- 13th 2:36:24
Other major city marathons
Las Vegas: 2005- 10th 2:50:20
Los Angeles: 2010- 1st 2:25:38
Marathons in major championships
Olympics 2012- 20th 2:27:52
Worlds: 2011- 1st 2:28:43, 2013- 1st 2:25:44
Career notes
Edna Kiplagat won her first London Marathon title last
April at the fourth time of asking. The double world
champion sprinted to victory on The Mall, beating
half marathon world record holder Florence Kiplagat
by just three seconds. After finshing third in 2011,
and runner-up two years in a row, it was a welcome
change of fortune for the 35-year-old who had
become the first woman to retain the world marathon
title in Moscow the previous summer.
Kiplagat made her marathon debut in December 2005
in Las Vegas when she was 10th in 2:50:20, although
her first appearance on the international stage came
nearly 10 years earlier when she won a 3000m silver
medal at the 1996 World Junior Championships, aged
16. She added a bronze at that event in 1998.
She began running road races in the United States 12
years ago and produced PBs for 5km (15:20), 10km
(31:18) and 15km (47:57) in summer 2010. The USbased Eldoret native emerged onto the world scene
that November when she surprised everyone to win
the New York Marathon, only her second world class
race at the distance. She broke away from debutantes
Mary Keitany and Shalane Flanagan on the testing
climbs of Central Park to win in 2:28:20. Added to her
Los Angeles victory eight months earlier, the New York
triumph made her the first athlete to win marathons on
both coasts of the USA.
Six months later, she improved her PB by nearly five
minutes to finish third at the 2011 London Marathon
behind Keitany and Liliya Shobukhova. At the time, it
was the best ever performance for third place.
That summer, she led a Kenyan sweep of the medals
at the Daegu World Championships, the first ever
in a womens marathon at a Worlds or Olympics. In
punishing temperatures and high humidity, Kiplagat
romped home despite falling at a drinks station.
She improved both her PB and place at the 2012
London Marathon, finishing second behind Keitany
in 2:19:50, good enough to win selection for Kenyas
Olympic team. Her Olympic experience was not a happy
one, however. After running with the leaders for 30km,
Kiplagat struggled home in 20th place, suffering from flu.
She finished nearly five minutes behind the winner.

50 Media Guide 2015

She was runner-up for the second year in a row at the


2013 London Marathon, this time following Priscah
Jeptoo home in 2:21:32. But she was back on top
of the podium in Moscow that summer the only big
name to cope with the muggy conditions before
finishing the year at the New York Marathon, where she
was ninth in 2:30:04. She returned to New York last
November but fared no better, struggling in the cold
and windy conditions to finish 13th in 2:36:24.
Kiplagats half marathon PB of 67:41 was set at the
2012 Great North Run when she lost a sprint finish
to Tirunesh Dibaba. She was fifth in last years Great
North Run and won half marathons in Olomouc and
Glasgow.
This January she had a rare cross country outing,
finishing sixth in the Kenyan Police championships.
Personal notes
Her full name is Edna Ngeringwony Kiplagat. Her
husband and coach is Gilbert Koech, a marathon
runner with a best of 2:13:45 from Las Vegas in
January 2005. He also won the 2009 San Antonio
Marathon.
When in the US, the pair live in Boulder, Colorado. They
have five children, two of their own, two adopted from
Ednas sister who died of breast cancer in 2003, and
one adopted from a neighbour who died in childbirth in
2013. She established the Edna Kiplagat Foundation
in 2013 to target breast cancer issues and raise
awareness of breast self-examination.
She was awarded the AIMS Best Marathoner of the
Year award in October 2013 in recognition of her
repeat victory at the World Championships.
She holds the rank of inspector in the Kenyan police.

VIRGIN MONEY LONDON MARATHON 2015

MARY KEITANY (KENYA)


Born: 18 January 1982 Kisok, Baringo District
Marathon best: 2:18:37 London 2012
London Marathon record: 2011- 1st 2:19:19,
2012- 1st 2:18:37
Other World Marathon Majors
New York: 2010- 3rd 2:29:01, 2011- 3rd 2:23:38,
2014- 1st 2:25:07
Other major city marathons: None
Marathons in major championships
Olympics: 2012- 4th 2:23:56
Career notes
Mary Keitany returns to the London Marathon after a
three-year absence seeking to become only the fourth
woman to win the title three times. Keitanys 100%
record on the London course began in 2011 when
she produced a brilliant victory to beat defending
champion Liliya Shobukhova in a time only Paula
Radcliffe had ever beaten.
The then 29-year-old strode home in 2:19:19 to move
alongside Irina Mikitenko as the fourth fastest in
history. She defended her title 12 months later in even
more impressive style, leading five Kenyans home
the first medal sweep in the womens race in 2:18:37
to take Catherine Nderebas Kenyan and African
record and rise to third on the all-time list.
Keitany announced herself on the world stage when
she was second to Lornah Kiplagat at the 2007 World
Half Marathon Championships in Udine, running 66:48
as Kiplagat broke the world record. She had her first
child in mid-2008, and returned in 2009 to win the
World Half Marathon Championships in Birmingham
with an African record of 66:36 improving Elana
Meyers 1999 time of 66:44.
The following May she won the Berlin 25km by almost
five minutes in 1:19:53, a world best for the distance.
She then won the Bupa 10k in London, in another PB
of 31:06, and warmed up for her marathon debut by
winning the Lisbon half in 68:50.
Before her marathon debut in New York, Keitany said
she had no idea how her body would react in the final
few miles. In the event, she found herself in sight of
victory with only compatriot Edna Kiplagat and USAs
Shalane Flanagan for company. In the end, Keitany
was third in 2:29:01, losing out in the tussle over the
ups and downs of Central Park.
In February 2011 Keitany broke Lornah Kiplagats
world half marathon record when she won the Ras
Al-Khaymah race in 65:50, taking 35 seconds from the
previous mark. En route to her historic sub-66 minute
time, Keitany went through 8km in 24:30 (a world
best), 15km in 46:40, 10 miles in 50:05 (another
world best) and 20km in 62:36 (a world record). The
half marathon and 20km records have since fallen to
Florence Kiplagat.

She returned to the New York Marathon in November 2011 seemingly in pursuit of the marathon world
record. She swept through half way up on Paula
Radcliffes schedule (67:56) only to fade dramatically
over the final 10km and finish third for the second year
in a row.
She won the RAK again in 2012 before her stunning
second London Marathon victory. But there was disappointment for Keitany in the British capital that summer
when she missed out on an Olympic medal by less
than half a minute. She finished fourth in 2:23:56.
Keitany skipped the 2013 season to have her second
child, but made a spectacular return to competition last
year winning the Great North Run half marathon in a
PB of 65:39 before finally clinching the New York title in
2:25:07, three seconds ahead of Jemima Sumgong. in
a time considerably slowed by the cold and wind.
On the track, she has a 10,000m best of 32:18.07
from 2007. She set a 5km best of 15:25 in Lisbon last
year.
She ran a world leading time of 66:02 to win her third
Ras Al Khaymah half marathon title in February this
year.
Personal notes
Mary Jepkosgei Keitany married Kenyan athlete
Charles Koech on 31 December 2011. They have
a son Jared Kipchumba, born in June 2008, and a
daughter, born in April 2013.
She trains in Iten and is coached by Gabriele Nicola.
Her husband has run 61:27 for the half marathon.

Media Guide 2015 51

VIRGIN MONEY LONDON MARATHON 2015

ASELEFECH MERGIA
(ETHIOPIA)
Born: 23 January 1985
Marathon best: 2:19:31 Dubai 2012
London Marathon record: 2010- 2nd 2:22:38,
2011- dnf
Other World Marathon Majors
Other major city marathons
Dubai: 2011- 1st 2:22:45, 2012- 1st 2:19:31,
2015- 1st 2:20:02
Paris: 2009- 2nd 2:25:02
Marathons in major championships
Olympics: 2012- 42nd 2:32:03
Worlds: 2009- 3rd 2:25:32, 2011- dnf
Career notes
Aselefech Mergia has won the lucrative Dubai
Marathon three times in the last five years, including
2012 when she broke the course record and the
Ethiopian record with 2:19:31 as three women finished
under 2:20.
Although her national mark fell soon afterwards to
Tiki Gelana, Mergia is still placed eighth on the world
all-time list as one of just 18 women to have run
sub-2:20. She was fractionally outside that time this
January when she celebrated her 30th birthday by
winning her third Dubai title in 2:20:02. It was a perfect
comeback in her first marathon since 2012, and
her first since the birth of her daughter in July 2013.
She beat Gladys Cherono by just one second in the
greatest womens race in the events history.

She failed to finish the testing Daegu 2011 World


Championships marathon that summer, dropping out
in the final few kilometres, but was back to winning
ways in Dubai in January 2012, dipping under 2:20 for
a national record that lasted all of three months until
Gelana sliced half a minute from it in Rotterdam.

Mergia makes her third appearance at the London


Marathon this year after a gap of four years. She
first came to London in 2010 having clinched
the world bronze medal in Berlin the previous
August and finished third behind the Russian pair
Liliya Shobukhova and Inga Abitova in a huge PB
of 2:22:38, ahead of four of her more favoured
compatriots.

She didnt race again for nearly two years when she
was on maternity leave. She returned to action at a
half marathon in Gothernburg last May and returned to
the marathon this January when she became the first
woman to win the Dubai Marathon three times, taking
victory and the $200,000 prize with a sprint finish
against Gladys Cherono.

She was later promoted to second when Abitova was


suspended for a doping violation, while Shobukhovas
result is also in doubt as she faces investigation for a
positive drugs test announced last year.
After three years of success at the half marathon,
Mergia made her marathon debut in Paris in 2009.
She finished second in a swift 2:25:02 winning her
place on Ethiopias World Championships team.
In Berlin she shadowed the Asians for 40km before
dropping back to claim a bronze medal just 17
seconds behind the winner, Chinas Bai Xue, and
beating all of the more renowned Africans.
She continued her good form in London the following
April with a performance that may yet be rewarded
with a winners medal. She won the first of her three
Dubai titles in January 2011 before returning to
London where she dropped out after 30km having
lost touch with the leading group powered by Mary
Keitany.

52 Media Guide 2015

While Gelana went on to triumph at the 2012 Olympics,


Mergia struggled with Londons wet conditions and
finished well down the field.

In 2008 Mergia was second at the World Half Marathon


Championships in 69:57 and lowered her PB still
further in New Delhi with 68:17 just a second ahead of
Genet Getaneh.
That became 67:48 in 2009 when she was second in
Ras Al Khaymah, then 67:22 from RAK in 2010, and
67:21 when third in New Delhi in November 2011.
Personal notes
Aselefech Mergia gave birth to her daughter Sena in July
2013. Her return to racing was delayed because she
struggled to lose weight again after the birth.
She is coached by Gemedu Dedefo (the same as Feyse
Tadese).

VIRGIN MONEY LONDON MARATHON 2015

FLORENCE KIPLAGAT (KENYA)


Born: 27 February 1987 Kapkitony, Keiyo District
Marathon best: 2:19:44 Berlin 2011
London Marathon record: 2012- 4th 2:20:57,
2013- 6th 2:27:05, 2014- 2nd 2:20:24
Other World Marathon Majors
Berlin: 2011- 1st 2:19:44, 2013- 1st 2:21:13
Boston: 2011- dnf
Chicago: 2014- 3rd 2:25:57
Other major city marathons: None
Marathons in major championships: None
Career notes
Florence Kiplagat came to London full of confidence
last year as the reigning Berlin Marathon champion
and the new world half marathon record holder having
clocked 65:12 in Barcelona in February. En route to
that time she also broke the world 20km record.
It was well-placed confidence for Kiplagat came
as close as possible to winning her first London
Marathon, losing out to her namesake Edna Kiplagat
in a sprint down The Mall, the three-second difference
on the line the smallest losing gap for 17 years. After
finishing fourth in 2012 and sixth in 2013, it was some
compensation to finally make the podium.
She returned to Barcelona on 15 February this year
and lowered her half marathon record by three
seconds, clocking 65:09, breaking 15km and 20km
world records along the way (46:13 and 61:54
respectively).
Kiplagat made her marathon debut in Boston in
2011 but dropped out after going through half way in
1:11:42 and 30km in 1:42:59. It was an inauspicious
start that she soon put behind her by winning the first
of her two Berlin Marathon titles that September.
Kiplagat led from start to finish in Berlin and crossed
the line more than two and a half minutes clear after
shrugging off the attentions of two of the fastest
women of all time, world record holder Paula Radcliffe
and German record holder Irina Mikitenko.
She came to London in 2012 as one of five Kenyans
vying for Olympic selection but finished fourth behind
Mary Keitany, Edna Kiplagat and Priscah Jeptoo and
so missed out on an Olympic place. Twelve months
later, she was leading at 25km with Jeptoo and Edna
Kiplagat, but faded badly and could only finish sixth.
She made a victorious return to Berlin in September
2013, when she regained the title ahead of Sharon
Cherop and Mikitenko, and finished the year ranked
fifth in the world.
After almost tasting victory in London last April, she
reached another World Marathon Majors podium
in October when she finished third in the Chicago
Marathon.

Kiplagat began winning international medals at a young


age, starting with a 5000m silver at the 2006 World
Junior Championships, when she was 19. She was
fifth in the senior race at the 2007 World Cross Country
Championships and, after becoming a mother in 2008,
returned to win the 2009 World Cross in Amman.
Later that year she clocked 30:11.53 over 10,000m
in Utrecht to erase Linet Masais Kenyan record, but a
hamstring injury meant she could only finish 12th at the
2009 World Championships.
Injury prevented her defending her cross country
title in 2010, but in September that year she made her
half marathon debut, and a month later won the world
half marathon title in Nanning, defeating Dire Tune in
the final stages.
After last years London Marathon she returned
to the track, winning the 10,000m at the Kenyan
championships and clinching a silver medal at the
Glasgow Commonwealth Games. She was back on
the roads a few weeks later, setting a 10km road best
of 31:42 in Nairobi. She also won the New Delhi half
marathon in November.
Personal notes
Her full name is Florence Jebet Kiplagat.
She used to be married to Moses Mosop who ran
2:03:06 when he was second at the 2011 Boston
Marathon and set world track records for 25,000m and
30,000m in 2011. She has two daughters, Faith and
Aisha. Her uncle, William Kiplagat, is a marathon runner
with a best of 2:06:50 from 1999.
She lives on a 20-acre farm in Eldoret with 1200
chickens, among other livestock. Edna Kiplagat is a
neighbour. She is coached by Renato Canova.

Media Guide 2015 53

VIRGIN MONEY LONDON MARATHON 2015

PRISCAH JEPTOO (KENYA)


Born: 26 June 1984 Chemnoet Village, Nandi
Marathon best: 2:20:14 London 2012
London Marathon record: 2012- 3rd 2:20:14,
2013- 1st 2:20:15, 2014- dnf
Other World Marathon Majors
New York: 2013- 1st 2:25:07
Other major city marathons
Padua: 2010- 2nd 2:30:53
Paris: 2011- 1st 2:22:55
Porto: 2009- 1st 2:30:40
Turin: 2010- 1st 2:27:02
Marathons in major championships
Olympics: 2012- 2nd 2:23:12
Worlds: 2011- 2nd 2:29:00
Career notes
Priscah Jeptoo arrived to defend her London
Marathon title in 2014 after more than two years of
consistently high performances which culminated in
the 2012/13 World Marathon Majors crown.
But Jeptoos run of form ended here last April when
she failed to finish, dropping out before 30km with a
calf injury. She didnt return to action until November
when she won a 15km road race in the Netherlands,
clocking a best for the distance of 46:59, having
withdrawn from the New York Marathon with injury.
Jeptoos sequence of successful marathons began
when she snatched the silver medal from her
teammate Sharon Cherop in the closing stages of the
Daegu 2011 World Championships, helping Kenya to
a clean sweep of the medals. She added an Olympic
silver in 2012 having won her place on the Kenyan
team just four months earlier when finishing third on
her London Marathon debut behind Mary Keitany and
Edna Kiplagat in a personal best of 2:20:14.
She returned to London in 2013 hoping to improve
her PB and left with the title after dominating a race
containing some of the most impressive marathon
runners of all time. She broke away in the second half
and crossed the line more than a minute clear of world
champion Edna Kiplagat, one second outside her PB.
She skipped the 2013 World Championships in
Moscow instead focusing on the Great North Run,
where she ran a half marathon PB of 65:45 to beat
Meseret Defar and Tirunesh Dibaba, and the New
York Marathon, where she overcame more than three
minutes deficit at half way to win by 49 seconds and
secure the WMM prize. She was the first woman since
Grete Waitz in 1983 and 1986 to win London and New
York in the same year.
Despite last years set-back, Jeptoo still has a very
impressive marathon record: in 10 races over the
distance she has won five, finished second three
times, and third once.

Her first victory came in Porto in 2009, followed


by Turin in 2010. But she first grabbed the worlds
attention in April 2011 when she won the Paris
Marathon in 2:22:55, then the second quickest time in
the races 35-year history and more than four minutes
quicker than she had run before. She finished nearly
two minutes ahead of Agnes Kiprop to secure her spot
on Kenyas World Championship team.
A year later she claimed her Olympic place, finishing
third of the quintet of Kenyans who dominated the
2012 London Marathon.
That August she missed out on Olympic gold by just
five seconds, clocking 2:23:12, a time that would have
won every previous Olympic title. It was the smallest
losing margin in Olympic history.
She followed that with a brilliant victory in the 2012
Great North Run when she ran a sensational 10th
mile of 4:34 and covered 10k to 20k in 30:06 to leave
Meseret Defar and Tirunesh Dibaba adrift. Her time
of 65:45 was a supreme performance, although not
eligible as a world record because of the course.
She was second behind Lucy Kabuu in the 2013 Ras
Al Khaymah half marathon, and first in 2014. She ran
69:21 to finish third in this years Lisbon half on 22
March.
Personal notes
Her full name is Priscah Jeptoo Chepsiror. Her
husband Douglas Chepsiror is also her training partner
and massseur. They have a son, Faustin Kipchumba
and live on a 15-acre farm in Kapsabet. Her mother,
Beatrice Samoei, was a 1500m runner.
She is coached by Claudio Berardelli.
Relatively tall for a female marathon runner, she runs
with wide elbows and an awkward-looking, swinging
stride.

54 Media Guide 2015

VIRGIN MONEY LONDON MARATHON 2015

TIRFI TSEGAYE (ETHIOPIA)


Born: 25 November 1984 Bekoji, Oromia region
Marathon best: 2:20:18 Berlin 2014
London Marathon record: None
Other World Marathon Majors
Berlin: 2012- 2nd 2:21:19, 2014- 1st 2:20:18
Boston: 2011- 11th 2:27:29, 2013- 5th 2:28:09
Tokyo: 2014- 1st 2:22:23
Other major city marathons
Dubai: 2013- 1st 2:23:23
Frankfurt: 2013- 7th 2:26:57
Milan: 2014- 4th 2:36:23
Paris: 2010- 3rd 2:24:51, 2012- 1st 2:21:40
Porto: 2008- 1st 2:35:32
Shanghai: 2009- 2nd 2:28:16, 2010- 1st 2:29:11,
2011- 2nd 2:24:12
Toronto: 2010- 2nd 2:22:44
Turin: 2009- 2nd 2:29:04
Marathons in major championships: None
Career notes
Tirfi Tsegaye won two World Marathon Majors races
in 2014 to place third on the 2013/14 leaderboard.
She set a course record in Tokyo last February with
2:22:23, the fastest ever run in that calendar month,
and lowered her personal best to 2:20:18 to win in
Berlin last September.
She has run 16 marathons in her career, notching up
an impressive string of victories in cities around the
world, including Porto, Shanghai, Paris and Dubai, as
well as Tokyo and Berlin. She has finished in the top
three 12 times, and the top five 14 times.

Personal notes
Her full name is Tirfi Tsegaye Beyene.
She comes from Bekoji in the Oromia region, the
famous running town which nurtured Kenenisa Bekele,
the Dibaba sisters, and Tiki Gelana.
She trains with two-time Berlin Marathon winner Aberu
Kebede, the 2014 Frankfurt Marathon champion who
was fifth in London last year.

Exclusively a road runner, her marathon career began


with victory in Porto in 2008, followed by runner-up
places in Turin and Shanghai the following year.
She cut nearly six minutes from her personal best
in 2010, first running 2:24:51 to finish third in Paris,
then 2:22:44 for second in Toronto before finishing
the year placing second in Shanghai behind Nailya
Yulamanova, a result which now counts as a victory
after the Russians suspension for a doping offence.
She ran her first World Marathon Majors in Boston
in 2011 but could only finish 11th. A year later, she
became the Paris champion, reducing her PB to
2:21:40 before slicing a few more seconds off in
Berlin, where she was second to her training partner
Aberu Kebede in 2:21:19.
She won US$200,000 in January 2013 by taking a
16-second victory in the highly competitive and fogbound Dubai Marathon in 2:23:23 and then finished
fifth in Boston that April and seventh in Frankfurt.
She ran three marathons last year too, squeezing a
fourth-place finish in Milan last April between her two
WMM wins.
Tsegaye represented Ethiopia at the 2009 World Half
Marathon Championships, finishing sixth in 69:24.
Her PB of 67:42 came at the 2012 Rome-Ostia half
marathon.

Media Guide 2015 55

VIRGIN MONEY LONDON MARATHON 2015

FEYSE TADESE (ETHIOPIA)


Born: 19 November 1988
Marathon best: 2:20:27 Berlin 2014
London Marathon record: 2014- 4th 2:21:42
Other World Marathon Majors
Berlin: 2014- 2nd 2:20:27
Other major city marathons
Dubai: 2011- 10th 2:30:23
Eindhoven: 2011- 3rd 2:25:20
Paris: 2013- 1st 2:21:06
Seoul: 2012- 1st 2:23:26
Shanghai: 2012- 1st 2:23:07
Venice: 2009- 10th 2:36:57
Marathons in major championships
Worlds: 2013- dnf
Career notes
Feyse Tadese became a significant presence on the
World Marathon Majors scene last year starting with
her performance at the London Marathon where she
produced a strong finish to place fourth, just behind
her compatriot Tirunesh Dibaba in 2:21:42, just half a
minute outside her personal best.
She was more than half a minute inside her PB in
Berlin last September when she finished second, just
nine seconds behind another Ethiopian, Tirfi Tsegaye.
Tadeses marathon career began in Venice in 2009
when she was 10th in 2:36:57. She was 10th again
in Dubai in January 2011 when she ran six and a half
minutes faster to record 2:30:23. She improved both
time and place in Eindhoven that October, finishing
third in 2:25:20 behind fellow Ethiopian Shitaye
Bedaso.
She followed that with a string of three marathon
victories, first in Seoul in March 2012 when she
crossed the line in 2:23:26, then in Shanghai that
December when she went a fraction quicker, clocking
a course record of 2:23:07.
That PB didnt last long either as she cut it down by
another two minutes to win the 2013 Paris Marathon
in a course record 2:21:06, continuing a steady
sequence of improving times.
That performance also won her a place on Ethiopias
World Championships team, but Tadese failed to finish
in Moscow, unable to cope with the torrid conditions.
Tadese picked up her first global honour in 2012
when she won a silver medal at the World Half
Marathon Championships in Kavarna, a race she led
until the closing stages when she was passed by her
teammate Meseret Hailu. She had been fourth in 2010
and was seventh in that years World Cross Country
Championships.
She has a track 10,000m best of 32:29.07 from 2010.
She set her half marathon PB when she was
ninth in the 2013 Ras Al Kaymah half in 68:35, and
she was seventh in January 2014 in 69:19.

56 Media Guide 2015

Personal notes
Her full name is Feyse Tadese Boru, and she is also
known as Feysa Tadesse.
She is coached by Gemedu Dedefo (the same as
Aslefech Mergia).

VIRGIN MONEY LONDON MARATHON 2015

JEMIMA SUMGONG (KENYA)


Born: 21 December 1984
Marathon best: 2:20:48 Chicago 2013
London Marathon record: None
Other World Marathon Majors
Boston: 2012- 2nd 2:31:52, 2014- 4th 2:20:41
Chicago: 2013- 2nd 2:20:48
New York: 2014- 2nd 2:25:10
Other major city marathons
Castelln: 2011- 1st 2:28:32
Frankfurt: 2007- 4th 2:29:41
Las Vegas: 2006- 1st 2:35:12
Mumbai: 2008- 11th 2:44:12
Rotterdam: 2013- 1st 2:23:27
San Diego: 2008- 2nd 2:30:18, 2010- 5th 2:32:34
Marathons in major championships: None
Career notes
Jemima Sumgong has completed 11 marathons in her
career so far, and finished in the top five in all but one,
including her four World Marathon Majors races.
At her first, the 2012 Boston Marathon, it was only
inexperience that cost her victory as Sharon Cherop
accelerated off the final turn to pull away for a twosecond victory.
Eighteen months later, at the 2013 Chicago Marathon,
Sumgong pushed her training partner and eventual
winner, Rita Jeptoo, for most of the race, before
winding up second again in 2:20:48.
Last year, she came close to victory again, running
seven seconds quicker than her personal best at the
2014 Boston Marathon to finish fourth in 2:20:41. She
then placed second behind Mary Keitany in New York
last November, a race she lost by just three seconds,
matching the closest margin in the events history.
She first established herself on the US road circuit in
2005, and made her marathon debut nine years ago
when she won the 2006 Las Vegas Marathon aged
21.

Personal notes
Her full name is Jemima Sumgong Jelagat and she is
sometimes referred to as Jemima Jelagat.
She married Noah Talam in 2009, a marathon runner
with a best of 2:14:54. She took a break from running
in 2009 and gave birth to her daughter in 2011.
Sumgong trains in Kapsabet in the Nandi Hills under
the direction of her coach, Claudio Beradelli.
She works for the Kenyan Armed Services.
Sumgong tested positive for the banned substance
prednisolone after the 2012 Boston Marathon and was
given a two-year ban by Athletics Kenya. However,
she was cleared on appeal by the IAAF in September
2012 as the local injection Sumgong had received was
permitted under the governing bodys rules.

She broke 2:30 for the first time the following year,
finishing fourth in Frankfurt in 2:29:41, but didnt notch
up another marathon victory until 2011 when she was
first in the Castelln de la Plana Marathon, lowering
her best to 2:28:32.
After making her WMM debut in Boston in 2012, she
had the biggest marathon victory of her career the
following spring in Rotterdam where she not only won
the prestigious race but knocked some five minutes
from her best with 2:23:27, a time she improved
still further over the next 12 months in Chicago and
Boston.
Sumgong also shaved a few seconds from her half
marathon best last year, clocking 68:32 for second
in Luanda. She was also second in the Lisbon half
marathon last March.
Her 10km PB of 31:15 was set in 2006.

Media Guide 2015 57

VIRGIN MONEY LONDON MARATHON 2015

TIGIST TUFA (ETHIOPIA)


Born: 26 January 1987
Marathon best: 2:21:52 Shanghai 2014
London Marathon record: None
Other World Marathon Majors
New York: 2013- 8th 2:29:24
Other major city marathons
Dubai: 2015- dnf
Houston: 2011- 8th 2:41:50
Jacksonville: 2013- 2nd 2:40:45
Ottawa: 2014- 1st 2:24:31
Santa Monica: 2014- 2nd 2:28:04
Shanghai: 2014- 1st 2:21:52
Marathons in major championships: None
Career notes
Tigist Tufa has been an improving marathon runner
with every race shes run, from her 2:41:50 debut in
Houston four years ago to her victory in Shanghai
last November when she clocked one of the quickest
times of the year.
She raced three marathons last year, winning two
in course record times, and she finished second in
the other. She also reduced her PB each time, a big
improvement of eight minutes in the year, or a huge 19
minutes in the space of 20 months.
She led this years Dubai Marathon in January by a
minute at 20km only to pay the price in the second
half, losing the lead and later dropping out.
After placing eighth on her debut in Houston in
2011, she left it two years before attempting another
marathon. She fared a little better, finishing second in
Jacksonville in 2:40:45.
She tackled her first World Marathon Majors race that
November and finished eighth in New York, reducing
her PB again by 11 minutes to break the 2:30 barrier
for the first time.
She was back in the States in spring last year to
contest the Santa Monica Marathon. She was second
in the West Coast race, taking another 80 seconds
from her best.
Her first marathon victory came in Ottawa last May,
when she clocked 2:24:31, another 3:27 improvement
and a course record.
She continued her winning habit in Shanghai on 2
November where a time of 2:21:52 removed more
than a minute from that events course record, set by
Feyse Tadese in 2012. She was the fifth successive
Ethiopian winner of the race and actually placed 10th
overall.
A familiar figure on the US road racing scene, she also
ran a 15km PB of 51:05 last year, finishing fourth in
the Utica Boilermaker race in New York State.
Her half marathon best of 70:03 was set in Lisbon
in 2008, while she has won recent half marathons in
Fairfield and Providence.

58 Media Guide 2015

Personal notes
Tufa lived in The Bronx in New York for 11 months
before moving back to Addis Ababa in December 2013
when she joined the training group of coach Haji Adilo.

VIRGIN MONEY LONDON MARATHON 2015

TETYANA GAMERA (UKRAINE)


Born: 1 June 1983 Hrada, Ternopil
Marathon best: 2:22:09 Osaka 2015
London Marathon record: 2014- 7th 2:25:30
Other World Marathon Majors
New York: 2013- dnf
Other major city marathons
Krakw: 2011- 1st 2:28:14
Osaka: 2012- 2nd 2:24:46, 2013- 1st 2:23:58,
2014- 1st 2:24:37, 2015- 1st 2:22:09
Marathons in major championships
Olympics: 2012- 5th 2:24:32
Worlds: 2011- 15th 2:31:58
Career note
Tetyana Gamera regained the Ukrainian record in
January when she won the Osaka International
Womens Marathon for the third year in a row.
Running 2:22:09, the 31-year-old shaved more than
two minutes from the time she ran to finish fifth at the
London 2012 Olympics, just one place behind the
two-times London Marathon winner Mary Keitany
and barely more than a minute outside the medals.
She passed eight women in the last 7km to break her
national record.
She opened her marathon career in 2011 when she
won in Krakw in 2:28:14, breaking the course record
and beating all but 13 of the men in the race. That
won her a place on Ukraines World Championships
team and she finished 15th in Daegu in 2:31:58, little
indication of how well she would run in London a year
later.
The first hint of that form came at the 2012 Osaka
Marathon when she was second behind Risa
Shigetomo in a national record of 2:24:46.
She ran a series of personal bests in the run-up to the
London Olympics, clocking 33:25 at the Worlds Best
10k, 72:15 at the Prague half marathon and 32:50.13
for 10,000m at the Prefontaine Classic in Eugene.

In Osaka this January she became only the second


woman to win three times in a row, following Lidia
Simon in 1999-2001. She led from the start and ran
away from her challengers in the second half of the
race.
Personal notes
Her surname is sometimes spelled Hamera.
She competed at the London 2012 Olympics as
Tetyana Gamera-Shmyrko but now wishes to be
known by her maiden name of Gamera.
She is coached by Igor Osmar.
A graduate of Lviv State University of Physical Culture,
she lives in Kyiv and has a daughter, Diana.

Yet another PB followed at the Olympics when she


performed beyond expectations to finish ahead
of many more heralded runners, including world
champion Edna Kiplagat.
She returned to Osaka in January 2013 and improved
her PB again, winning the prestigious womens race
in 2:23:58 (running a half marathon best of 71:40 at
half way), although it was not a national record as
Olena Shurhno had run 2:23:32 in Berlin the previous
September.
Gamera raced sparingly in the rest of 2013 but was
back in Japan early last year when she retained the
Osaka title. She came from behind to beat Yukiko
Akaba in 2:24:37, becoming only the sixth woman to
win the race more than once.
Her good form continued at the London Marathon last
April when she finished seventh in 2:25:30, two places
ahead of Olympic champion Tiki Gelana.

Media Guide 2015 59

VIRGIN MONEY LONDON MARATHON 2015

TATYANA ARKHIPOVA (RUSSIA)


Born: 8 April 1983 Umarsky District, Chuvashia
ne Tatyana Petrova
Marathon best: 2:23:29 Olympics 2012
London Marathon record: None
Other World Marathon Majors
Berlin: 2011- 5th 2:25:01
Boston: 2014- 13th 2:30:29
Chicago: 2005- 8th 2:31:03
Tokyo: 2011- 2nd 2:28:56, 2012- 5th 2:26:46
Other major city marathons
Dubai: 2009- 4th 2:25:53
Honolulu: 2004- 5th 2:36:44, 2007- 3rd 2:35:56
Istanbul: 2014- 4th 2:31:47
Los Angeles: 2009- 1st 2:25:59
Marathons in major championships
Olympics: 2012- 3rd 2:23:29
Career notes
Tatyana Arkhipova produced the performance of her
life in London three years ago when she won the
Olympic bronze medal behind Tiki Gelana and Priscah
Jeptoo, keeping the reigning London Marathon
champion Mary Keitany off the podium.
It was a huge breakthrough for Arkhipova (running for
the first time under her married name) who benefited
from a conservative approach in the first half to catch
the leaders at 30km. She lost touch only in the final
stages.
Better known as a track runner, Arkhipova (then
Tatyana Petrova) was European under 23 10,000m
champion in 2005, when she also picked up the
5000m silver for the second time having lost to Elvan
Abeylegesse in 2003.
As a senior she made a succesful switch to the
barriers and broke the world indoor best for 3000m
steeplechase in 2006 before winning silver medals at
the 2006 European Championships in Gothenburg
and the 2007 World Championships in Osaka.
She almost won her first Olympic medal in Beijing
the following year when she was fourth in a race won
by her teammate, the world record-setting Gulnara
Samitova-Galkina.
It was in 2009 that she first gave serious attention
to the marathon, although shed made a stab at the
distance back in 2004, when she was fifth in Honolulu,
and 2005, when she finished eighth in the Chicago
Marathon in 2:31:03.
When she returned to the event six years ago it was
with greater success. She lowered her PB by nearly
five minutes to finish fourth in Dubai in 2:25:53 before
enjoying her first taste of success in Los Angeles,
running just six seconds slower.
She was on the podium again in 2011 when she
placed second in Tokyo, followed by another PB in
Berlin that September, good enough for fifth in a race
that featured Florence Kiplagat, Paula Radcliffe and
Irina Mikitenko.

60 Media Guide 2015

She returned to Tokyo at the start of 2012 and, despite


running two minutes quicker than the previous year,
finished fifth again in 2:26:46.
That didnt exactly make her one of the favourites
for Olympic medals as most observers focused on
the Kenyans, Ethiopians and her heralded Russian
teammate Liliya Shobukhova.
But while Shobukhova dropped out, and many of
the favourites fell back, Arkhipovas steady start paid
dividends as she came within touching distance of the
title.
She didnt race at all in 2013 but returned to action last
year when she finished 13th in Boston before lowering
her half marathon PB to 73:34 in September and
placing fourth in the Istanbul Marathon in November.
Personal notes
She was born Tatyana Valeriyevna Petrova and has
sometimes been referred to as Tatyana Petrova
Arkhipova since she got married.

VIRGIN MONEY LONDON MARATHON 2015

ANA DULCE FLIX (PORTUGAL)


Born: 23 October 1982 Azurm, Guimares
Marathon best: 2:25:40 New York 2011
London Marathon record: 2014- 8th 2:26:46
Other World Marathon Majors
Boston: 2013- 9th 2:30:05
New York: 2010- dnf, 2011- 4th 2:25:40,
2014- 12th 2:35:33
Other major city marathons
Vienna: 2011- 2nd 2:26:30
Marathons in major championships
Olympics: 2012- 21st 2:28:12
Career notes
The 2012 European 10,000m champion made her
marathon debut in Vienna in April 2011, finishing a few
seconds behind Fate Tola, and ran her PB in New York
later that year when she was fifth behind Inga Abitova
in 2:25:40 (later promoted to fourth when Abitova was
disqualified).
It was an encouraging start to her marathon career for
Ana Dulce Flix a woman who once doubted she
could make it as a professional athlete and good
enough to win a place on Portugals marathon team
for the 2012 Olympics. She finished 21st on the wet
roads in London, just a few weeks after winning the
European 10,000m title in Helsinki.
She returned to the British capital 12 months later for
her London Marathon debut a year after running in
the ill-fated 2013 Boston Marathon where she finished
ninth in 2:30:05.
Flix ran well in London last year to place eighth, the
third European behind her compatriot Jssica Augusto
and Tetyana Gamera of Ukraine.
Flix began her international career as a junior at the
2000 and 2001 World Cross Country Championships
but failed to make an impression, finishing outside the
top 60. It wasnt until 2007 that she tasted any kind of
success, winning the Portuguese 10,000m title for the
first time.
She returned to international competition the following
year at the World Cross Country Championships
and then finished 13th at the World Half Marathon
Championships and 17th at the European Cross
Country Championships.
Its at cross country that shes had most success,
winning European silvers in 2011 and 2012, and
bronze medals in 2010 and 2013, as well as taking
team golds with Portugal in 2008, 2009 and 2010.
She was also 15th at the World Cross in 2009, leading
Portugal to a team bronze.

She broke the Portuguese half marathon record


running 68:33 to finish second in Lisbon in 2011,
having finished second in 2010 and third in 2009 at the
Great North Run.
She won the Portuguese road running championships
over 10km in 2013 and 2014, and lowered her PB to
32:16 in the Lisbon 10km at the end of December.
She ran in the European Championships 10,000m final
in Zrich last summer, but could only place 10th, and
was 12th in last Novembers New York Marathon.
She won the Portuguese 10km road race title on
11 January this year and a month later was second
in the Five Mills cross country race in Italy. She won
the Portuguese cross country title in March ahead of
Sara Moreira and was fifth at this years Lisbon half
marathon in 70:27.
Personal notes
Disheartened by her first taste of international
competition in 2000 and 2001, Flix took a low-paid
job in a clothing factory thinking she would never
make it as a professional. It was Jssica Augusto who
persuaded her to quit the job and focus full-time on
running.
Her goal is to break Rosa Motas 29-year-old
Portuguese marathon record of 2:23:29.
She started running for the Benfica club in August
2013 and is coached by Sameiro Araujo.

On the track, she ran 10,000m for Portugal at the


2009, 2011 and 2013 World Championships, finishing
eighth and top European in 2011. She was seventh at
the 2010 European Championships when she faded
over the second half of the race. She made amends
two years later when she triumphed in Helsinki.

Media Guide 2015 61

VIRGIN MONEY LONDON MARATHON 2015

SARA MOREIRA (PORTUGAL)


Born: 17 October 1985 Santo Tirso, Portugal
Marathon best: 2:26:00 New York 2014
London Marathon record: None
Other World Marathon Majors
New York: 2014- 3rd 2:26:00
Other major city marathons: None
Marathons in major championships: None
Career notes
Sara Moreira ran her debut marathon at New York City
last November and made it to the podium, finishing
third in 2:26:00 just behind Mary Keitany and Jemima
Sumgong.
Previously a track specialist, she won the 2013
European indoor 3000m title and has a handful
of silver and bronze medals from European
championships, including outdoor 5000m silver and
bronze medals from 2010 and 2012, respectively, and
an indoor 3000m silver from 2009, plus an under 23
3000m steeplechase bronze in 2007.
At global level, she was a 5000m finalist at the 2009
World Championships in Berlin and finished fifth over
3000m at the World Indoors in 2010. And she was
14th at 10,000m at the London 2012 Olympic Games
having run the steeplechase at Beijing 2008.
She was a double gold medallist at the 2009 World
University Games, winning both the 5000m and
3000m steeplechase.
As a steeplechaser she broke the Portuguese under
23 record in 2007 and the national senior record in
2008, while her personal best of 9:28.64 was set at
the Berlin 2009 World Championships.
At 5000m she ran her PB of 14:54.71 to pick up
European silver in 2010, while her 10,000m PB of
31:16.44 was set at the London Olympics.
She ran her pre-2015 half marathon best of 70:08
when finishing fourth at the 2010 Great North Run.
She won the Great Birmingham Run half marathon in
2012.
She has won no fewer than 16 Portuguese national
titles on all surfaces.
She has also represented Portugal at four World Cross
Country Championships from 2008 to 2011, and five
European Cross Country Championships, helping
Portugal to team golds in 2008, 2009 and 2010.
She was sixth in the 5000m at last summers
European Championships.

62 Media Guide 2015

She was second in this years Portuguese cross


country championships behind Ana Dulce Flix, and
second ahead of Priscah Jeptoo in the Lisbon half
marathon on 22 March in a personal best of 69:18.
Personal notes
She was born Sara Isabel Fonseca Moreira in Santo
Tirso, Portugal.
She was Portuguese sportswoman of the year in 2013.

VIRGIN MONEY LONDON MARATHON 2015

ALESSANDRA AGUILAR (SPAIN)


Born: 1 July 1978 Lugo, Galicia
Marathon best: 2:27:00 Rotterdam 2011
London Marathon record: None
Other World Marathon Majors
New York: 2011- 14th 2:33:08
Other major city marathons
Hamburg: 2009- 1st 2:29:01
Rotterdam: 2008- 3rd 2:29:03, 2011- 4th 2:27:00,
2013- 4th 2:27:03
Marathons in major championships
Olympics: 2008- 54th 2:39:29, 2012- 26th 2:29:19
Worlds: 2009- 24th 2:33:38, 2011- dnf,
2013- 5th 2:32:38
Europeans: 2010- 5th 2:35:04, 2014- dnf
Career notes
Alessandra Aguilar has represented Spain in the
marathon at seven major championships, including
two Olympic Games, three World Championships and
two Europeans.
Her best result came in Moscow two years ago when
she finished fifth, a great improvement on Daegu two
years before, when she did not finish.
She also finished fifth at the 2010 European
Championships in Barcelona but found the conditions
too tough at the 2014 Europeans in Zrich last
summer when she dropped out.

She was fourth in this years Spanish cross country


championships.
Personal notes
She competes for FC Barcelona.

Aguilar made a positive start to her marathon career


when she was third in Rotterdam in 2008, breaking
2:30 at her first attempt. That won her a place on
Spains 2008 Olympic team for Beijing where she
placed 54th.
She achieved her first marathon victory in Hamburg
the following year before finishing 24th at the 2009
World Championships in Berlin.
She broke her personal best when she returned
to Rotterdam in 2011, finishing fourth in 2:27:00.
After failing to finish in Daegu, she ran her one and
only World Marathon Majors race in New York that
November. She finished 14th, a little short of her best.
She was back under 2:30 at the Olympic Games in
London the following summer, when she was 26th,
and returned to Rotterdam for a third time in April
2013. She was fourth again, just three seconds slower
than two years previously.
She ran a personal best of 70:56 to finish 21st at the
World Half Marathon Championships last March. She
was sixth at the 2010 Great North Run.
Early in her career, Aguilar represented Spain on the
track at the 1999 European Junior Championships
when she was ninth at 5000m, and at the 2001 World
University Games, where she was sixth at 10,000m.
Shes raced at numerous World and European Cross
Country Championships since 1999, her highest place
being eighth at the 2010 Europeans.

Media Guide 2015 63

VIRGIN MONEY LONDON MARATHON 2015

RKIA EL MOUKIM (MOROCCO)


Born: 22 February 1988
Marathon best: 2:28:12 New York 2014
London Marathon record: None
Other World Marathon Majors
New York: 2014- 6th 2:28:12
Other major city marathons: None
Marathons in major championships: None
Career notes
Rkia El Moukim made an encouraging start to her
marathon career when she was sixth in New York last
November in 2:28:12, an impressive debut given the
strong winds which buffeted the runners for much of
the race.
It was the climax of a breakthrough year for the
27-year-old Moroccan who set five personal bests on
the roads in 2014 when she did much of her racing
in the USA. She ran 32:07 to place third in the New
Orleans 10km race in April and ran 40:41 over 12km
when she was fifth in Spokane in May.
She lowered her half marathon best to 70:03 to win
the Marrakech half marathon in January and then
broke the course record with 71:18 to win the Hy-Vee
half in Des Moines in April, a race delayed by an hour
due to a thunderstorm.
She represented Morocco twice at cross country in
2011, at that years World (where she was 36th) and
African championships (ninth).
On the track she was Moroccan 5000m champion in
2012.
She has run three half marathons this year. She
clocked 72:50 when she was third in Adana, won the
Marrakech half on 25 January in 70:48, and was fifth
in the New York half in 70:14 on 16 March.
Personal notes
El Moukim began running in 2001 aged 13. She lives
and trains in Ifrane, a town in the Middle Atlas region of
Morocco, but spends a period each summer racing in
the United States where she is based at Roxborough in
Pennsylvania.
She is married to Ali Attaki who is also an athlete.
She earned $12,000 for her Hy-Vee victory in Iowa last
year, and pledged to buy a car with her winnings.
She is managed by Hicham el Mohtadi, who is head of
D1 Athletics Sports Management and lives in Queens,
New York.
In the US, El Moukim sometimes trains with Askale
Morachi of Ethiopia who is the cousin of double
Olympic 10,000m champion and former London
Marathon winner, Derartu Tulu.

64 Media Guide 2015

VIRGIN MONEY LONDON MARATHON 2015

IWONA LEWANDOWSKA
(POLAND)
Born: 19 February 1985
Marathon best: 2:28:32 Frankfurt 2012
London Marathon record: None
Other World Marathon Majors
Berlin: 2011- 11th 2:30:38
Other major city marathons
Eindhoven: 2014- 1st 2:28:33
Frankfurt: 2012- 7th 2:28:32
Los Angeles: 2012- 4th 2:31:17
Warsaw: 2010- 5th 2:41:58, 2014- 2nd 2:32:42
Marathons in major championships: None
Career notes
Iwona Lewandowska missed her personal best by just
one second when she won the Eindhoven Marathon
last October in 2:28:33.
It was a first victory in six marathons for the former
junior international steeplechaser.
Lewandowska made her marathon debut in Warsaw
in September 2010 when she was fifth in 2:41:58. She
ran the Berlin Marathon a year later and improved by
more than 11 minutes to finish 11th in 2:30:38.
After placing fourth in the 2012 Los Angeles Marathon
she took another two minutes from her best in that
years Frankfurt Marathon where she was seventh.
She was runner-up in Warsaw last April before
clinching her first marathon win in Eindhoven.
That capped an excellent year for Lewandowska
who set PBs at 1500m (4:17.40) and 10km (32:25) in
2014, and won Polish titles at 5km and cross country
before finishing eighth at the European Cross Country
Championships. She also won the Warsaw half
marathon in 73:10, half a minute outside her PB. Her
track PB for 5000m 15:35.75 from 2012.
Lewandowska first competed for Poland as a junior in
at the 2004 European Cross Country Championships.
She ran in the under 23 race in 2007 and was eighth
in the seniors in 2014. She ran in the World Cross
Country Championships in 2010.
She also represented her country in the 3000m
steeplechase at the European under 23
Championships in 2005 and 2007.
Personal notes
She runs for the LKS Vectra Wloclawek club.

Media Guide 2015 65

VIRGIN MONEY LONDON MARATHON 2015

MARY DAVIES (NEW ZEALAND)


Born: 27 August 1982
Marathon best: 2:28:57 Toronto 2012
London Marathon record: None
Other World Marathon Majors: None
Other major city marathons
Ottawa: 2010- 7th 2:39:30
Toronto: 2012- 1st 2:28:57
Vienna: 2009- 8th 2:42:39
Marathons in major championships
Worlds: 2009- 34th 2:38:48, 2013- 37th 2:51:24
Career notes
Mary Davies ran 2:28:57 to win the 2012 Waterfront
Marathon in Toronto. Despite rainy and windy
conditions, she clipped almost 10 minutes from her
previous best as she broke 2:30 for the first time and
beat Kenyan Agnes Kiprop by 36 seconds.
She has twice represented New Zealand at World
Championships, finishing 34th in Berlin in 2009 and
37th in Moscow two years ago.
Shes also had top 10 finishes in the Vienna and
Ottawa marathons.
Davies won a 10,000m bronze medal at the 2005
World University Games having worn the all-black
vest for the first time at the 2004 World Cross Country
Championships when she was 53rd.
Her half marathon PB of 1:11:07 was set in Minnesota
in 2013.
She has a 10km PB of 32:09 from Ottawa in 2013
having won the Houston 10km earlier that year. She
won the Houston 10km again this year in 34:53.
Personal notes
Hailing from Northlands in New Zealand, Davies is now
based in Houston, USA, having lived for some time in
Ottawa, Canada. She often competes on the US road
race circuit.
She played hockey at school before taking up running.
She moved to North America to study at Oklahoma
State University in 2004 where she became an AllAmerican on the track before moving to Ottawa with
her Brazil-born husband Gabriel Sawakuchi, a physics
professor.
They had a son, Lucas, born in 2011, and moved to
Houston in 2013. Davies gave birth to her second child
in July last year.
She is coached by New Zealand-based Ian Babe.
Her goal is to qualify for the Rio 2016 Olympic Games.

66 Media Guide 2015

VIRGIN MONEY LONDON MARATHON 2015

ELVAN ABEYLEGESSE (TURKEY)


Born: 11 September 1982 Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
Marathon best: 2:29:30 Istanbul 2013
London Marathon record: None
Other World Marathon Majors: None
Other major city marathons
Istanbul: 2013- 2nd 2:29:30, 2014- 5th 2:32:15
Marathons in major championships
Europeans: 2014- 5th 2:29:46
Career notes
Elvan Abeylegesse moved up to the marathon for the
first time two years ago, having won Olympic, world
and European medals on the track, including the
5000m and 10,000m double at the 2010 European
Championships in Barcelona.
She won two silvers at the Beijing 2008 Olympics in
those same events, beaten both times by Ethiopias
Tirunesh Dibaba, and was the World Championships
silver medallist behind Dibaba in 2007.
She broke the 5000m world record at the Bislett
Games in Oslo in 2004, running 14:24.68 to eclipse
the 1997 mark of Chinas Jiang Bo, while her silver
medal-winning time from the Beijing Olympic 10,000m
final of 29:56.34 is still the European record for that
distance.
As a junior she won European titles at 3000m and
5000m in Grosseto, Italy, in 2001, and at cross
country later that year, and she won the European
under 23 5000m gold in 2003.
She holds Turkish records at 2000m, 3000m, 5000m
and 10,000m on the track, while in 2010 she broke
the Turkish half marathon record running 67:07 at the
Ras Al Khaymah race in the United Arab Emirates. It
was the fastest debut half marathon on record and at
the time made her the sixth fastest ever.
She ran her first marathon in 2013 when she was
second behind Kenyas Rebecca Cheshire in Istanbul
in 2:29:30. She also contested the marathon for
Turkey at the European Championships in Zrich last
summer, finishing fifth, just a few seconds outside her
best.

She married and changed her name to Elvan Can


to acquire Turkish citizenship. She became Elvan
Abeylegesse when she got divorced.
Abeylegesse married her long-time partner Semeneh
Debelie in February 2011 and took a break from
competition that year because she was pregnant. She
gave birth to her daughter, Arsema, in July 2011.
She runs for the Enka Sports Club in Istanbul and is
coached by Ertan Hatipoglu, a former triple jumper.
The Ethiopian federation no longer allows her to train
in their country, although she remains on friendly terms
with Ethiopian runners.
In 2010 she received the Pierre de Coubertin World Fair
Play Trophy, an annual award given by the International
Fair Play Committee. She lent a pair of running shoes to
Ethiopias Meselech Melkamu just before the 10,000m
final at the 2009 World Championships. Melkamu had
forgotten to bring her shoes to the track, and she went
on to take the silver medal.

She was a couple of minutes slower in Novembers


2014 Istanbul Marathon, where she was fifth.
She competed for Turkey at last years World Half
Marathon Championships in Copenhagen, but put in a
poor performance, finishing 58th in 75:58.
Personal notes
She was born Hewan Abeye in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia,
one of seven children, and ran for Ethiopia as a junior
at the 1999 World Cross Country Championships
in Belfast. She was invited to a meeting in Istanbul
and decided to move there, claiming the Ethiopian
federation didnt give her enough support.

Media Guide 2015 67

VIRGIN MONEY LONDON MARATHON 2015

DIANE NUKURI (BURUNDI)


Born: 1 December 1984 Kigozi-Mukike, Burundi
Marathon best: 2:29:35 Amsterdam 2014
London Marathon record: 2014- 12th 2:33:01
Other World Marathon Majors
Boston: 2013- 8th 2:29:54
Chicago: 2010- 22nd 2:39:09
New York: 2011- 20th 2:41:21, 2013- 10th 2:30:09
Other major city marathons
Amsterdam: 2014- 3rd 2:29:35
Honolulu: 2014- 7th 2:37:11
Los Angeles: 2011- 4th 2:33:47
Marathons in major championships
Olympics: 2012- 31st 2:30:13
Career notes
Diane Nukuri has broken the Burundi marathon record
three times in the last three years, first at the London
Olympics when she was 31st in 2:30:13, then in
the 2013 Boston Marathon when she was eighth in
2:29:54, and most recently last October when she
was third in the Amsterdam Marathon in 2:29:35.
That was the second of three marathons in 2014,
the first coming in London 12 months ago when she
was 12th in 2:33:01. She also raced in the Honolulu
Marathon in December, finishing seventh, her fourth
top 10 finish in two years.
A Sydney 2000 Olympian at 5000m, Nukuri made a
modest start to her marathon career in 2010 when she
was 22nd in Chicago in 2:39:09. Six months later she
improved by more than five minutes and just missed a
medal at the Los Angeles Marathon, finishing fourth in
2:33:47, although her first run in New York was more
disappointing 20th in 2:41:21, also in 2011.
She returned to New York in 2013 and was just
outside her best on the testing course, finishing 10th
in 2:30:09.
She began running in her early teens and was a
junior international by the time she was 15, competing
at the 2000 World Cross Country Championships,
where she was 18th. She qualified for the Sydney
Olympics later that year and finished 14th in her
5000m heat after carrying the nations flag at the
Opening Ceremony, an honour she was given again
in 2012.
She won a bronze medal over 10,000m at the
Francophone Games in Ottawa the following year,
breaking the national junior and senior records in the
process. Afterwards Nukuri fled to Toronto seeking
asylum from the Burundi civil war.
Courted by US coaches, she moved from Canada
to the States and began breaking national records
indoors and out at every distance from 1500m to
10,000m, and at 5km and marathon on the roads.
She currently holds eight Burundi records and has
so far lowered national bests no fewer than 38 times,
including in September 2013 when she ran 32:29.14
to win 10,000m gold at the Francophone Games in
Nice.

68 Media Guide 2015

Earlier that year she broke her own indoor records


for one mile and 5000m, and that April improved her
marathon record in Boston. She also lowered the
national half marathon record to 69:12 finishing second
in New York in March 2013. She ran her 10km PB of
31:52 in Cape Elizabeth last August.
While at college in the States, Johnson amassed nine
national junior collegiate titles and 17 national junior
All-American honours. At university she won two Big
Ten Championships, in cross country (2007) and at
5000m (2008).
Personal notes
Born in Burundi, she fled the civil war in 2001 after
her father was killed, and gained asylum in Canada,
settling with relatives in the Toronto suburb of
Pickering.
She moved to El Dorado in Kansas to study at Butler
County Community College where she trained with Kirk
Hunter while learning English, her third language. After
two seasons, she transferred to the University of Iowa
to work with coach Layne Anderson who had recruited
her from high school.
She was named an All-American three times and won
the Wilma Rudolph student athlete award. She left
Iowa in 2008 with university records in 10 events and a
degree in communications. She married Alex Johnson
in 2010 having met her husband at the university.
She still lives in Iowa City and is still coached by Layne
Anderson.

VIRGIN MONEY LONDON MARATHON 2015

SONIA SAMUELS
(GREAT BRITAIN & NI)
Born: 16 May 1979 Wallsend
Marathon best: 2:30:56 Berlin 2012
London Marathon record: 2012- 19th 2:33:41
Other World Marathon Majors
Berlin: 2012- 9th 2:30:56
Other major city marathons: None
Marathons in major championships
Worlds: 2013- 16th 2:39:03
Career notes
Sonia Samuels made her marathon debut in London
three years ago when she finished 19th, fourth Briton,
in 2:33:41.
She failed to make the British team for the London
Olympics but ran at the Berlin Marathon that
September and knocked nearly three minutes from
her London time to finish ninth.
She was selected for Britain at the 2013 World
Championships in Moscow and ran well to finish 16th
in 2:39:03.
Samuels took a break from marathon running in
2014 to improve over the shorter distances and,
after recording a personal best of 32:39.36, she was
selected to run 10,000m for England at the Glasgow
Commonwealth Games where she finished seventh.

She used to make her living teaching German, Spanish


and French at John Flamsted School in Denby, but
has recently put her teaching career on hold while she
concentrates on achieving her dream of a place on
Britains Rio 2016 Olympic team.
A qualified open water diver, she has dived with great
white sharks at night. She also cycled from Geneva to
Nice through the Alps.

She went on to win a place in the British squad for the


European Cross Country Championships in Samokov
last December. She finished 15th, helping Britains
women to a team gold medal.
She also set 5km and 10km PBs on the roads last
year.
Samuels was national junior cross country champion
as long ago as 1999 and won the British universities
cross country title in 2001.
She made her first international appearance in 1997 at
the World Junior Cross Country Championships and
ran in the senior World Cross for the first time in 2002.
On the track, she became British 10,000m champion
in 2011 having finished third the previous year.
She has a half marathon PB of 72:36 from 2013
when she was sixth in Berlin. She finished third there
in 2011. She was 12th at this years Lisbon half
marathon in 74:20.
Personal notes
Previously known as Sonia Thomas, she became
Sonia Samuels when she married Nick in 2008. He ran
3:44.2 for 1500m in 2010.
She studied at Loughborough University and was
coached by George Gandy until 2013. Now she is
guided by Terrence Mahon. She runs for Sale Harriers.

Media Guide 2015 69

VIRGIN MONEY LONDON MARATHON 2015

EMMA STEPTO
(GREAT BRITAIN & NI)
Born: 4 April 1970 Wadebridge
Marathon best: 2:32:40 Frankfurt 2014
London Marathon record: 2012- 30th 2:44:17,
2014- 14th 2:36:05
Other World Marathon Majors: None
Other major city marathons
Amsterdam: 2013- 8th 2:35:05
Frankfurt: 2014- 7th 2:32:40
Toronto: 2012- 9th 2:42:58
Marathons in major championships: None
Career notes
Emma Stepto finished fourth on her London Marathon
debut three years ago, aged 42 not in the elite race, of
course, but in the womens section of the mass event.
She did run from the elite start last April and finished 14th
in 2:36:05 more than eight minutes quicker.
Better still came in Frankfurt last October where she
was seventh in 2:32:40, improving her best by two
minutes 25. In two years, she has reduced her PB by
more than 10 minutes from the 2:42:58 she ran to
finish ninth at the 2012 Toronto Marathon.
She took nearly eight minutes from that at the 2013
Amsterdam Marathon when she was eighth in
2:35:05, becoming the third fastest British woman
over 40 behind Priscilla Welch and Joyce Smith, and
the quickest in that age group for 36 years. She also
ranked fourth in the UK for the marathon in 2013; she
ranked third last year.
That was only the last of a string of impressive
performances by Stepto in 2013, topped by her
womens 40+ UK 5000m record of 16:13.0 in July.
She also placed seventh over 5000m at the British
championships and won the Bristol half marathon in
73:40, quicker than any British woman at the Great
North Run. She achieved all that despite missing two
months with a stress fracture which had forced her to
skip the 2013 London Marathon.
Last year she lowered her 10km PB to 33:11 in Leeds
and finished third in the Cardiff half marathon in 72:29,
another lifetime best.
Having broken Welchs 5000m mark by eight tenths
of a second, Stepto now has her sights set on her UK
masters marathon record of 2:26:51.
She won the Bath half marathon on 1 March this year
in 73:50 and ran 73:32 to finish fifth at the Reading
half on 22 March.

70 Media Guide 2015

Personal notes
Growing up in the Cornish town of Wadebridge, Stepto
(then known as Emma Stallard) took part in many sports
but didnt take up running until she was 35.
In the last couple of years shes been coached by Alan
Rowling.
She lives in Redruth and runs for Cornwall Athletics
Club.

VIRGIN MONEY LONDON MARATHON 2015

VOLHA MAZURONAK
(BELARUS)
Born: 14 April 1989
Marathon best: 2:33:33 Ldz 2013
London Marathon record: None
Other World Marathon Majors: None
Other major city marathons
Baltimore: 2012- 4th 2:40:06
Debno: 2012- 1st 2:33:56
Ldz: 2013- 2nd 2:33:33
Omsk: 2012- 1st 2:44:47
Sacramento: 2014- 1st 2:27:33
Marathons in major championships: None
Career notes
Volha Mazuronak shattered the course record by
nearly two minutes when she dipped under 2:30
for the first time to win last Decembers California
International Marathon in Sacramento, a race that
starts shortly after dawn but is run on a downhill
course, so doesnt count for records.
It was the 25-year-olds third victory in five marathons
and she improved her personal best by exactly six
minutes.
A former international race walker at youth and junior
level, she moved up to the marathon in 2012, winning
the Belarussian championships in Debno in 2:33:56.
That was in April, and four months later she won
again, this time in Omsk, although in a much slower
time.
She ran her first overseas marathon just two months
later, finishing fourth in Baltimore in 2:40:06. She
shaved 23 seconds from her PB when she was
second in Ldz in April 2013 before running her quick
time in California towards the end of last year.
Mazuronaks international career stretches back to
2005 when she was fourth in the 5000m walk at the
World Youth Championships.
She was fifth at the following years World Juniors in
the 10,000m walk having finished fourth in the junior
10km race at the World Race Walk Cup in La Corua
that year. She was Belarus junior champion at 10km
walk in 2006 and 2007.
She set a half marathon PB of 72:43 last year shortly
after finishing seventh over 10,000m at the European
Championships in 32:31.15, another PB. She also
lowered her 5000m best last summer to 15:35.44,
finishing third at the European Team Championships
in Tallinn.

Media Guide 2015 71

VIRGIN MONEY LONDON MARATHON 2015

REBECCA ROBINSON
(GREAT BRITAIN & NI)
Born: 28 October 1982
Marathon best: 2:37:14 London 2010
London Marathon record: 2010- 18th 2:37:14
Other World Marathon Majors: None
Other major city marathons
Brighton: 2014- 3rd 2:37:41
Marathons in major championships
Europeans: 2010- 22nd 2:44:06
Career notes
Rebecca Robinson finished third in last years Brighton
Marathon, just a fraction outside her best time in
2:37:41, good enough to rank fifth in the UK for 2014.
An established international mountain runner,
Robinson made her marathon debut on the roads in
London in 2010 when she was 18th in 2:37:14, which
remains her PB.
She was selected to run at that summers European
Championships in Barcelona where she finished 22nd,
helping Britain to a team bronze medal.
Shed placed 45th at the previous years World
Half Marathon Championships and was 17th at the
European Mountain Running Championships that July,
her best performance in three appearances at that
event.
She was 30th at the 2012 World Mountain Running
Championships in Italy and last September improved
to finish 14th in that event after winning the UK
mountain running title for the first time in August.
Robinson ran a half marathon best of 72:40 when she
was fifth in Cardiff last October while she was 12th,
10th, 11th and 12th at the Great North Run between
2008 and 2013. She won the Miami half marathon in
2010.
Personal notes
Robinson runs for Kendal.
She is a trained doctor, and works in Sheffield as a
registrar in sports and exercise medicine.

72 Media Guide 2015

KENDAL
RUNNING CLUB

VIRGIN MONEY LONDON MARATHON 2015

Awards & Bonuses for Elite Races


Awards for place

Men
Women
1 $55,000 $55,000
2 $30,000 $30,000
3 $22,500 $22,500
4 $15,000 $15,000
5 $10,000 $10,000
6 $7,500 $7,500
7 $5,000 $5,000
8 $4,000 $4,000
9 $3,000 $3,000
10 $2,000
$2,000
11 $1,500
$1,500
12 $1,000
$1,000

$156,500 $156,500
Total prize money: $313,000

Time & Record Bonuses


Men Women
Any runner recording sub:
(not cumulative)

2:05:00 $100,000
2:06:00 $75,000
2:07:00 $50,000
2:08:00 $25,000
2:08:30 $15,000
2:09:00 $10,000
2:09:30 $5,000
2:10:00 $3,000
2:11:00 $1,000

Any runner recording sub:


(not cumulative)

2:18:00 $100,000
2:20:00 $75,000
2:22:00 $50,000
2:23:00 $25,000
2:24:00 $15,000
2:25:00 $10,000
2:26:00 $5,000
2:27:00 $3,000
2:28:00 $1,000

Any runner achieving the following will receive (in addition to the above):
First in race and mens course record (2:04:29) - $25,000
First in race and womens only course record (2:17:42) - $25,000
First in race and mens world record (currently 2:02:57) - $125,000
First in race and womens only world record (currently 2:17:42) - $125,000

Media Guide 2015 73

VIRGIN MONEY LONDON MARATHON 2015

British Runners
The British athletes listed below are those who will line-up at the elite start lines. To be considered part of the
elite entries British athletes must satisfy the following criteria:
Men: athletes who have run a sub-2:18:00 marathon or sub-67:00 half marathon between 1 January 2014 and
31 December 2014.
Women: athletes who have run a sub-2:38:00 marathon or sub-1:17:00 half marathon between 1 January 2014
and 31 December 2014.
These athletes are all offered travel expenses and two nights accommodation. Any other athlete achieving these
times at the 2015 Virgin Money London Marathon will have their travel expenses reimbursed.

British Men
Bib
17
27

Name
Scott Overall
Matthew Hynes

Club
Blackheath & Bromley
Gateshead

PB (year) Age
2:10:55 (11) 32
Debut
27

Bib name
OVERALL
HYNES

Club
Sale Harriers, Manchester
Cornwall
Kendal

PB (year)
2:30:56 (12)
2:32:40 (14)
2:37:14 (10)

Bib name
SAMUELS
STEPTO
ROBINSON

British Women
Bib
120
121
123

Name
Sonia Samuels
Emma Stepto
Rebecca Robinson

Age
35
45
32

Note: Paula Radcliffe will not start with the elite womens field, but among the British Championship runners who
line up behind the elite men on the blue start at Blackheath. Her details are:
1255

Paula Radcliffe

74 Media Guide 2015

Bedford & County AC

2:15:25 (03) 41

PAULA

VIRGIN MONEY LONDON MARATHON 2015

PAULA RADCLIFFE
(GREAT BRITAIN & NI)
Born: 17 December 1973 Davenham, Cheshire
Marathon best: 2:15:25 London 2003
London Marathon record: 2002- 1st 2:18:56,
2003- 1st 2:15:25, 2005- 1st 2:17:42
Other World Marathon Majors
Berlin: 2011- 3rd 2:23:46
Chicago: 2002- 1st 2:17:18
New York: 2004- 1st 2:23:10; 2007- 1st 2:23:09,
2008- 1st 2:23:56, 2009- 4th 2:29:27
Other major city marathons: None
Marathons in major championships
Olympics: 2004- dnf, 2008- 23rd 2:32:38
Worlds: 2005- 1st 2:20:57
Career notes
Paula Radcliffe returns to the London Marathon for
the first time since 2005 to make what is expected
to be her final appearance as a competitive athlete
on the course where 12 years ago she revolutionised
the notion of how fast a woman can run 26 miles 385
yards.
Radcliffe won the 2003 London Marathon in 2:15:25,
averaging 5 minutes 9.9 seconds per mile (or 3:12.56
per km). It was the first and only time in history that the
womens world record came within 10 minutes of the
contemporary mens record (2:05:38). She is the only
female athlete to run the marathon quicker than 2:18
and shes done it three times.
After her sensational marathon debut in London in
2002, she first broke the world record in Chicago
that October, running 2:17:18 with the aid of male
pacemakers, and clocked 2:17:42 to claim the
women-only world record in London in 2005. She
went on to add the World Championships title in
Helsinki that August, in a championship record time,
and shes also won the New York Marathon three
times, running sub-2:24 on each occasion.
The average of her three London Marathon times
alone is faster than any other woman has ever run.
Her final marathon on 26 April will be her 13th. In the
previous 12 she has won eight while she also finished
fourth in New York in 2009, and third in Berlin in 2011.
She has produced four of the seven fastest times in
history.
However, her dream of winning an Olympic marathon
gold was ruined three times by injury. She started the
2004 Olympic marathon as an overwhelming favourite
but was forced to drop out of the gruelling Athens
race because of illness caused by pain killers. The
pictures of Radcliffe sitting beside the Athens road in
tears were among the most enduring images of those
Games.

Then a toe injury followed by a hip stress fracture


meant she lost vital weeks of training in the run-up to
the Beijing 2008 Games, where she finished 32nd,
again in pain and more tears.
She was selected for the London 2012 Olympics but
pulled out of the team two weeks before the Games
with a foot injury which has plagued her ever since.
Before her marathon career took off, Radcliffe won the
World Cross Country title twice, claimed two World
Half Marathon golds, won the European 10,000m title
and a Commonwealth Games 5000m crown. She
appeared in five World Championship track finals,
clinching 10,000m silver in 1999, and three Olympic
finals, finishing fifth over 5000m in 1996 and fourth at
10,000m in 2000.
She made her first competitive appearance for two
and a half years on 21 September last year when she
was third in the Worcester 10km road race. She also
ran a 10km race in Sopot, Poland, last October and
ran 15km in Heerenberg, in the Netherlands, on 7
December.
Radcliffe will not start with the elite womens field, but
among the British Championship runners who line up
behind the elite men on the blue start at Blackheath.
Personal notes
Radcliffe married Garry Lough (a 3:34.76 1500m
runner) in 2001, and they have two children Isla,
born in 2007, and Raphael, born in 2010. They live in
Monaco and she trains in the south of France and Iten,
Kenya.
She has a first class degree in European languages
from Loughborough University. In 2002, she received
an MBE and was 2002 BBC Sports Personality of
the Year. Her great aunt Charlotte won a silver medal
in the 4x100m freestyle swimming relay at the 1920
Olympics. She is a BBC TV athletics commentator.

Media Guide 2015 75

VIRGIN MONEY LONDON MARATHON 2015

UK Championships & Bonuses


UK Championships

The 2015 Virgin Money London Marathon is also the 2015 British Athletics mens and womens marathon
championships. To compete in the championships an athlete must be a member of a UK Athletics affiliated club
and have run the following times in 2013 or 2014:
Men: 2:45, or 1:15 half marathon

Women: 3:15, or 1:30 half marathon

2015 World Championships selection


The 2015 London Marathon elite races are also the official British Athletics marathon trials for the 2015 IAAF
World Championships in Beijing. To be eligible for selection athletes must have run the following qualifying times
between 1 January 2014 and 16:00 (BST) on 26 April 2015:
Men:
2:14:00 Women:
2:31:00
The first two British athletes to finish the London Marathon who hold the qualifying time will be selected
automatically. Marathon performances must be achieved on IAAF accredited courses (as listed on the IAAF
website) or at the 2014 European Championships or 2014 Commonwealth Games.
The British marathon competitors for the 2015 World Championships will be announced on Tuesday 28 April
2015. British Athletics can select up to three athletes for the individual mens and womens marathons.
Currently, the following athletes have achieved the British Athletics marathon standards:
Men Individual: Mo Farah (2:08:21), Chris Thompson (2:11:19), Scott Overall (2:13:00)
Women Individual: -

Bonuses

These bonuses apply to all British athletes eligible to compete for the UK in major championships. These sums
are not cumulative.
Men Women
Sub 2:11:00 - $8,000
Sub 2:31:00 - $8,000
Sub 2:12:00 - $7,000
Sub 2:32:00 - $7,000
Sub 2:13:00 - $6,000
Sub 2:33:00 - $6,000
Sub 2:14:00 - $5,000
Sub 2:34:00 - $5,000
Sub 2:15:00 - $4,000
Sub 2:35:00 - $4,000
Sub 2:16:00 - $2,500
Sub 2:36:00 - $2,500
Sub 2:17:00 - $1,500
Sub 2:37:00 - $1,500
Sub 2:18:00 - $1,000
Sub 2:38:00 - $1,000
Sub 2:19:00 - $500
Sub 2:40:00 - $500

76 Media Guide 2015